Bitflyer, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is muscling in on U.S. territory after securing a highly coveted Bit License. Just three of the licenses have previously been awarded, which entitle a company to operate a bitcoin exchange within New York. The Japanese exchange will now roll its services out to customers in a total of 41 U.S. states.
From Tokyo to New York
In its native Japan, Bitflyer provides trading of bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and ethereum against the yen, with 24-hour BTC volume of around US $170 million. This accounts for 96% of all trading activity on the platform. Having secured permission to launch across the majority of the U.S, the Tokyo company will be able to significantly broaden its customer base and to tap into Americans’ growing demand for cryptocurrencies.
Japanese cryptocurrency investors have traded $100 billion of assets via Bitflyer this year and the exchange will be hoping it can capture a similar share of the U.S. market. It will face stiff competition though from established exchanges such as Coinbase, Gemini, Bittrex, and Kraken. One exchange it won’t have to compete with is Asian neighbor Bitfinex, which is in the process of cutting ties with the U.S. market. Gemini is making great strides in its quest to grow its customer base; today the New York-based exchange announced that it has opened its services to Oregon residents, taking the number of states covered to 46.
Japan’s Largest Bitcoin Exchange is Flying
Bitflyer, which accounts for 30% of all bitcoin exchange volume, is evidently pleased to have gotten its hands on a Bit License from the New York Department of Financial Services. These are notoriously hard to obtain, and are evidence that Bitflyer has put significant time and effort into its U.S. expansion.
CEO Yuzo Kano said:
Bitflyer is proud to have been granted a Bit License to do business in the state of New York. This is a nod of approval from one of the most influential state financial services regulators in the nation.
At first customers will only be able to purchase bitcoin, though Bitflyer has plans to introduce other cryptocurrencies in due course. As an incentive to lure U.S. customers, the exchange will be offering 0% trading fees until the end of the year. It was in August that Bitflyer first announced its planned foray into the United States. The highly regarded Japanese exchange now has a chance to prove itself Stateside, but will have its work out to catch Coinbase, which dominates the American market and has a major presence in 189 other countries.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Unsplash, and Bitflyer.