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Coinbase to Exit Japanese Market After Kraken

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Crypto exchange giant Coinbase becomes the latest firm to stop operations in Japan, citing unfavorable market conditions. 

The US-based company has conducted a series of job cuts in the last seven months, with the latest downsizing happening earlier in January 2023. 

  • In a blog post on Wednesday (January 18, 2023), Coinbase announced that users in Japan have until February 16th to withdraw their fiat and crypto holdings from the platform, while fiat deposits will be disabled on January 20th. 

“Due to market conditions, our company has made the difficult decision to halt operations in Japan and to conduct a complete review of our business in the country. However, we are committed to making this transition as smooth as possible for our valued customers.”

  • Customers who fail to withdraw their crypto after February 17th will see their assets converted to Japanese yen (JPY). Also, any remaining JPY on Coinbase will be forwarded to a Guaranty Account at the Legal Affairs Bureau.
  • Coinbase further stressed that users who do not take action before the withdrawal deadline will liaise with the Legal Affairs Bureau to reclaim their JPY.
  • The latest development comes shortly after the company revealed that it would scale down operations in Japan. Speaking to Bloomberg, Coinbase’s vice president for business development and international, Nana Murugesan, said:

“We’ve decided to wind down the majority of our operations in Japan, which led to eliminating most of the roles in our Japan entity.”

  • Coinbase has also been cutting down staff in the last few months in response to the bear market. The firm began laying off staff in June 2022, slashing 18% of its work. In January, the crypto exchange dismissed 950 employees.  
  • Meanwhile, Coinbase is the latest cryptocurrency exchange to exit Japan, with Kraken taking similar action in December 2022.
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