Kraken Returns to Japan; Subsidiary Payward Asia Granted Crypto Exchange Permit


Kraken crypto exchange is making a return into the Japanese market, two years after it exited this space owing to regulatory hurdles at the time. According to the firm’s announcement on September 8, Kraken’s crypto trading services will now be offered again to Japanese clients through its local subsidiary, Payward Asia Ltd.

This progress follows the approval of Payward Asia to operate a crypto exchange under Japan’s Payments Services Act. Notably, this entity is also part of Japan’s crypto self-regulatory Association; Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA). With this regulatory foundation, Kraken stated that it is now confident of its re-opening business in the booming Japanese crypto market. The announcement reads,

“Kraken feels 2020 is the best year to restart the business in Japan because of the healthy market environment among other reasons.”

The exchange has scheduled mid-September as the target launch date with five crypto assets set to feature initially; Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and XRP. Consequently, prospective Japanese users have been guided to open new accounts with Payward Asia Inc. so as to be able to leverage its crypto-crypto and JPY-crypto trading services. This includes previous users of Payward Japan K.K as the exchange noted there will be no transfer functions.

Kraken’s re-entry into Japan comes barely two months since it was licensed by U.K’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to offer Crypto Facilities which are basically ‘Kraken Futures’. This milestone gave exposure to sophisticated institutional investors in Europe who previously could not access licensed crypto derivative markets. Jesse Powell, the exchange’s co-founder and CEO, was particularly enthusiastic about the move,

“This particular license means that a sophisticated class of investors, limited by their own requirements to interface with a regulated venue such as an MTF, will now have access to crypto derivatives in Europe for the first time. More participants means more liquidity and a better experience for everyone.”

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