Crypto is big in Japan, which has been a hotbed for crypto-buzz and it looks like this momentum is set to soar. In fact, the country just passed a landmark law in April, dubbed the Payment and Services Act. This was due to numerous crypto-scandals and regulation crack-downs. The new law decisively recognized cryptocurrencies as a legitimate payment method, which is big news for the industry. Since that tipping point, Japan has been gradually easing regulations as part of a wider push to inspire more exchanges to clean up their act and cultivate compliant crypto-startups.
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Using CoinWatch we tracked the status of two top coins over the last week, Bitcoin (BTC) and Ripple (XRP). While the bears had sent its value plummeting to $7,118 on May 28, the coin is now trading back up at $7,714. Similarly, Ripple had plunged $0.55 on May 28, but has now soared back to $0.68.
Coinbase Expands to the Japanese Market
As part of its strategy to “accelerate the global adoption of cryptocurrency,” leading digital exchange Coinbase has unveiled its first flagship office in Japan. This is to ensure “buying and using Bitcoin is as easy as possible.” As Bitcoin will now become more accessible to the Japanese market, the launch should provide big momentum for the coin.
Amidst the recent scams and investigations, Coinbase has vowed to “remain compliant with local laws and regulations.” Coinbase assures that it has been working with the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) and is laying the foundations to ease the transition and make the platform accessible, translatable and seamless to use.
The new push in Japan will be fronted by Nao Kitazawa, a Board member of the FinTech Association of Japan. Kitazawa will be in charge of a new in-country team and emphasized how the launch will lay a “great foundation to successfully push into the largest cryptocurrency market in the world.” It seems the new office is the first stop on the call for expansion, so time will tell if this leads to more developments for Coinbase throughout Japan and further afield into Asia.
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SBI Cryptocurrency Exchange Goes Live in Japan
In another big push for the industry, Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings has announced the launch of its brand new crypto exchange. Branded as ‘VcTrade,’ SBI Holdings officially announced “the availability of the new virtual currency exchange” earlier this week. The service has been piloted to 20,000 users so far, but the company plans to roll out the full launch for all customers next month.
SBI also affirmed that the new exchange will have “the industry’s narrowest spreads level” and will handle the major virtual currencies “first of all, we deal with XRP, [then] sequentially, bitcoin (BTC), [and] bitcoin cash (BCH).” To coincide with the full launch next month, SBI Holdings also plans to scale its services to add two extra digital currencies.
The focus on Ripple (XRP) should be good news for the coin, and may be the result of a recent SBI partnership with Ripple. This led to the establishment of Ripple Asia, a company which uses Ripple technology to power cross-payment transfers for banks across Asia, including Japan, Taiwan, Korea.
The new SBI exchange is the latest in a series of crypto ventures for the company. SBI has previously forged partnerships with bitcoin exchange bitflyer and has stakes in crypto wallet manufacturer CoolBItX.
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