San Francisco bitcoin exchange Kraken will be launched in Japan in late October. It will be the biggest digital currency exchange in the country, following the shutdown of Mt. Gox in February.
The company’s CEO Jesse Powell said: “We look forward to bringing our expertise and service to Japan, where we will fulfill the overdue need for an exchange.”
Earlier, Powell said: “Most of our launches into a new region depend on getting a banking partner there,” Powell said. “It’s a big expense opening a new region. Whoever goes in first will do all the hard work.”
Japan-based Mt. Gox collapsed after it has lost almost $470 million. After the exchange shutter, Kraken’s customer base increased by 50% over the two months. Since then, nobody could form the exchange of the same scale, although such local exchanges, as BtcBox and BitOcean Japan were opened.
Kraken commenced operations in autumn last year and is now one of the leading exchanges for euro transactions. Until now, customers in Japan could only make dollars and euro deposits at the exchange. However, many Japanese banks declined to realize transactions because of high fees. Bitcoin transactions could be possible only if the service would be commissioned in the country in collaboration with domestic banks.
Mt. Gox’s collapse was provoked by lack of security that enabled hackers to attack the exchange platform. Powell said Kraken had also been attacked, although had never been breached.
“Our experience and proven track record of competence, security, compliance and technological robustness would be great reasons to use Kraken,” he said.
Mr. Powell noted negotiations with some local banks about the cooperation continued longer than planned as some banks refused to offer bitcoin services.
Bitcoin supporters expect the opening of Kraken’s services in Japan will help to promote bitcoin in the country, which is believed to be the home of Satoshi Nakamoto, an anonymous bitcoin creator.
The competition among the tech firms is growing as more companies are starting transaction business. Thus, Apple has introduced its Apple Pay service, which allows users to pay for goods at stores using NFC technology. Besides, Japanese company Line presented its mobile payments app Line Pay.
Following Mt Gox closure a lot of companies intend to enter the digital currency industry in Japan. Thus, BitFlyer launched its services in April. BitOcean, a China-based startup, joined with New York-based Atlas ATS Inc. to develop a bitcoin platform in the country this month, according to BitOcean CEO Nan Xiaoning.