Crypto exchange Kraken to stop operations in Japan

Crypto exchange Kraken to stop operations in Japan

Cryptocurrency exchange company Kraken announced plans to cease operations in Japan amid the fallout within the once-booming cryptocurrency industry. 

“We would like to inform you that after due consideration, Kraken has decided to cease its operations in Japan and deregister from the Financial Services Agency (JFSA) as of January 31, 2023,” Kraken said in a blog post published on Wednesday in both Japanese and English. “The decision is part of Kraken’s efforts to prioritize resources and investments in those areas that align with our strategy and will best position Kraken for long term success.”

Kraken also said in its blog post that its business is unable to grow due to a combination of poor market conditions and a weak crypto market in Japan. The company also noted that it will discontinue its client service through Payward Asia.

The company also informed its clients that they have until Jan. 31 to withdraw their fiat and crypto holdings from the platform.

“We value the trust our clients put in us and we will do what we can to minimize the impact of our decision for you,” the company said in its statement. “That’s why we are committed to ensure a seamless transition and we hope the information in this email will help you decide what is the best option for you.”

“Kraken is fully funded to ensure all affected clients can withdraw their assets in a timely manner,” the company concluded in its statement. 

Kraken’s announcement comes amid the high-profile fallout of the cryptocurrency market FTX, which filed for bankruptcy last month, causing concerns from many about the future of the digital market currency.

Bahamian authorities arrested FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried earlier this month after U.S. officials notified them that they had filed charges against the 30-year-old entrepreneur.

U.S. authorities allege that Bankman-Fried used consumer money to fund his privately held company called Alameda Research, and he is facing accusations of using other people’s names to donate money to politicians. 

Bankman-Fried, who is facing multiple charges, including wire fraud and money laundering, was extradited to the U.S. from the Bahamas early last week. He posted a $250 million bail the next day and has been residing at his parent’s home in Palo Alto, Calif., ahead of his trial. He wears an electronic monitoring bracelet as part of the deal.

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