Coinbase announces Japanese expansion

Coinbase announces Japanese expansion

Cryptocurrency exchange and wallet service Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN) has announced it is opening a division in Japan, as part of its ongoing efforts to “accelerate the global adoption of cryptocurrency.”

The San Francisco-based firm announced it would begin accepting Japanese customers, on completion of its pending registration with the Financial Services Agency (FSA), the markets regulator in Japan.

Coinbase’s Japanese venture will be headed by former Money Design Co. COO and one-time Morgan Stanley investment banker, Nao Kitazawa. In a statement, Coinbase described Kitazawa as a “highly-respected and admired fintech leader” who will lead the company’s new office that “will lay the foundation for Japan’s crypto investors to access a range of Coinbase’s products.”

“Nao’s passion for cryptocurrency combined with his extensive background provides Coinbase with a great foundation to successfully push into the largest cryptocurrency market in the world. As a regulated, compliant crypto company in the U.S., we will focus on building that same level trust with new customers in Japan,” Coinbase said.

In its U.S. operation, Coinbase is regulated and licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a status it is seeking to replicate ahead of its official roll-out in Japan.

“As in other markets, we plan to take a deliberate approach to our rollout in Japan, which means working hand-in-hand with the Japanese FSA to ensure compliance with local laws at every stage,” according to the exchange.

Coinbase launched in the United States in 2012, and has since gone on to operate in 190 different countries worldwide.

Offering consumers a combined broker exchange and wallet platform for exchanging fiat in 32 countries, and for handling cryptocurrency transactions more broadly, Coinbase has over 13 million registered accounts.

Supporting cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Litecoin, and BTC, the company hopes the rollout in Japan will encourage the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies, by streamlining the process of buying, trading and sending cryptocurrency.

The service will officially launch once Coinbase secures the required approval from the FSA.

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