Kraken leaves Japan a second time, citing a “poor crypto market”

The cryptocurrency exchange said on January 31 that it would deregister as a crypto asset exchange operator with Japan’s Financial Services Agency.

Kraken, a global cryptocurrency exchange, has opted to suspend its operations in Japan for a second time, claiming a strain on its resources resulting from the “poor crypto market.”

In a blog post dated December 28, Kraken announced its decision to terminate operations in Japan and deregister with the Financial Services Agency by January 31, 2023, citing attempts to “priorities resources” and investments.

“Current market circumstances in Japan, coupled with a poor crypto market internationally, indicate that the resources required to expand our company in Japan at this moment are not warranted.”

“As a consequence, Kraken will no longer serve Japanese customers through Payward Asia,” the statement said.

The Japanese-facing exchange of Kraken is managed by its subsidiary Payward Asia Inc. The same subsidiary firm operated in Japan from 2014 until April 2018, when it withdrew in order to concentrate its efforts on expansion in “other geographical regions.”

The subsidiary planned to relaunch in Tokyo in October 2020, providing spot trading on five key assets with expansion prospects. The second iteration has concluded, and Kraken has committed to enabling all impacted customers to withdraw their funds by January 31, at the latest.

Users may withdraw their cryptocurrency holdings to an external wallet or convert their portfolio to Japanese yen before transferring it to a local bank. In January, withdrawal limitations will be lifted, and a procedure allowing users to reclaim their staked Ether will soon be disclosed.

On January 9, deposits will be banned, but trading activities will continue. In recent months, Kraken seems to have been focused on cost reduction.

Due to challenging market circumstances, Kraken said on November 30 that it has made one of its “most painful choices” by reducing its worldwide staff by around 1,100 individuals, or 30% of its total.

The exchange said that decreased trading volumes and fewer customer sign-ups led to Kraken’s decision to reduce expenditures and that the measures were essential “to maintain the company over time.”

In the Japanese language version of its most recent statement, Kraken said that its removal from the Japanese market would not have a major effect on the company’s overall operations.

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