The crypto exchange Kraken will be closing its doors to Japan. Investors in Japan will no longer be able to use San Fransisco-based Kraken’s cryptocurrency services.
Kraken released a statement earlier today announcing that the exchange “will be suspending all exchange services for residents of Japan.”
The statement continues to say that the crypto exchange Kraken doesn’t yet have the exact dates for when the service to Japanese residents will be discontinued, however, the approximate dates are as follows:
Last day of deposit: around mid-May 2018
Last day of trading: around mid-June 2018
Last day of withdrawal: around the end of June 2018
The exchange will contact its Japanese clients with exact dates as soon as they are known.
The closure of service will only affect residents of Japan; not Japanese citizens or businesses outside of Japan. “Clients residing outside Japan who have access to [Kraken’s] Japan banking partners will continue to have access and will still be able to trade [Kraken’s] JPY markets,” explained Kraken.
Kraken explained its decision to close its services to Japanese residents as economic-based:
“We deeply regret suspending this long-standing relationship and hope to resume services for Japan residents in the future. However, at the present time, it is impractical to continue service for Japan residents. The decision involved careful consideration of revenue against the costs and resources required to maintain service. Resources are an especially important consideration for us at this time due to our exponential growth in recent months. Suspending services for Japan residents will allow us to better focus on our resources to improve in other geographical areas. After we have had a chance to better catch up to our rapid growth, we will consider the possibility of resuming service for Japan residents.”
Although Kraken says the closure is necessary to allow for a future expansion, you do have to wonder if there’s another reason behind the decision. After all, the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) has been cracking down on crypto exchanges of late. The FSA has sent business improvement notices to several Japanese exchanges, including Japan’s largest exchange Coincheck, and has temporarily closed down operations of others.
So, is the crypto exchange Kraken getting out of Japan while it still can before it too gets a notice from the FSA?
What do you think?
Featured image: The Merkle