Kraken Is Shutting Down Its Operations in Japan, As The FTX Downfall Continues To Weigh Down On Crypto Firms

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Jesse Powell CEO of Kraken on Bitcoin cryptocurrency
Jesse Powell CEO of Kraken on Bitcoin cryptocurrency

Digital currency exchange Kraken will shut down its operations in Japan next month.

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In a blogpost on Wednesday, Kraken said it would stop crypto trading services through its Japanese subsidiary, Payward Asia, and deregister from Japan’s Financial Services Agency on Jan. 31, 2023.

It is the second time Kraken has left the Japanese market. The first was in 2018, when it closed four years after initially establishing operations in 2014. It relaunched in the country in 2020 after securing registration from the regulator.

Kraken said the move was “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.”

It cited a combination of “current market conditions in Japan” and a “weak crypto market globally” as the reasons behind its decision.

Japanese customers will have until Jan. 31 to withdraw their fiat and crypto holdings from the Kraken platform, the company said. They’ll have the option to either withdraw their crypto to an external wallet or cash out and transfer Japanese yen to a domestic bank account.