Cryptocurrency trading platform Liquid has its eye on a U.S. expansion, following the announcement of a new joint venture with Virtual Currency Partners, Cointelegraph first reported. Billed as a stepping stone to U.S. market access, the partnership will see the Japanese \u201cunicorn\u201d work alongside Virtual Currency Partners on a new platform aimed at attracting more U.S. investors to use its platform and native token, qash. Co-founder and CEO Kariya Kashimori said the partnership would allow the firm to access customers in one of the world\u2019s largest cryptocurrency markets. Kashimori noted, \u201cThe United States is one of the world's largest markets for the virtual currency industry, and our community and clients and institutional investors are widely interested in providing services in the U.S. market.\u201d Liquid achieved unicorn status in April after its valuation hit more than $1 billion\u2014prior to extending its focus on U.S. markets. The new venture is to be known as Liquid Financial USA, and has already acquired IQX, a firm registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). According to the firm, the joint venture is expected to start serving customers in early 2020. \u201cThis joint venture and the acquisition of IQX represents our commitment to expand in the U.S., and we look forward to working closely with Virtual Currency Partners to accelerate our platform growth,\u201d it stated. Liquid\u2019s parent company Quoine is licensed by the Financial Services Agency, Japan\u2019s financial and securities regulator, under Japan\u2019s crypto licensing scheme. A director of the firm, Katsuya Konno, said the company would use recently secured funding to drive growth in new international markets, as well as funding plans to enter the securities token market. At the same time, Liquid has said it will maintain a focus on developing its core trading business, with a view to providing better access to markets for investors. With global expansion on the agenda at Liquid, the joint venture structure gives some indication of how the company might go about achieving its ambitious aims. At a time when several notable cryptocurrency platforms are still struggling in the aftermath of the collapse in BTC prices, it remains to be seen whether Liquid can buck the trend and continue to grow into new markets in the coming months.