Foundation of the BitFlyer’s entity in the US marks the first expansion of the leading Japanese exchange into a new, regulation-challenging market.
bitFlyer, Inc. made public its plans to launch US-based subsidiary – Bitcoin exchange bitFlyer USA, Inc by the Fall of 2017 (it’s not clear when exactly the exchange launch will take place) with the new office based in the financial district of San Francisco.
According to company’s representatives, bitFlyer USA has already gained regulatory approval to operate in 34 states, which is a significant move given the complicated nature of the U.S. regulatory landscape, where supervisory authorities in each state have their own licensing and oversight modes.
Perhaps this tricky regulatory environment preconditions relative lack amount of new, major bitcoin exchanges open their doors to American customers, and even make some suspend services to US customer, as it was recently done by Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex.
According to the Bitfinex, the decision to discontinue the services was made due to ongoing difficulties in providing USD deposit and withdrawals for users in the US, accompanied by a dramatically outsized portion of resources spent on serving local customers, including legal, support, and regulatory services.
However, Yuzo Kano, bitFlyer Chief Executive Officer feels optimistic about the future:
While bitFlyer, Inc. is headquartered in Japan, my vision was always to create a global company, and I am excited that the US will be its first step toward global expansion. Bitcoin is a global currency, now our exchange will be global too.
As for exchange’s listed current and future trading pairs, the company’s press-release reads: “Bitflyer will initially target professional traders and institutions in the US, offering BTC/USD trading at launch and then expand to support other trading pairs and products.”
BitFlyer COO Bartek Ringwelski added:
There is a concept of ‘Mrs. Watanabe’ in the Japanese forex market; she is the personification of household trading in Japan. bitFlyer aims to be the first exchange to allow US Bitcoin traders to trade with Mrs. Watanabe.
bitFlyer, Inc. is the largest Bitcoin and blockchain company in Japan and also one of the leading world’s exchanges. Currently it supports multiple virtual 1 currency trading pairs, including Ether and Bitcoin Cash.
Since being founded in 2014 by former Goldman Sachs trader Yuzo Kano, bitFlyer, Inc. has facilitated over $40 billion worth of bitcoin trades, including $30 billion in 2017.
Given that the exchange had been previously operating solely in Japan, BitFlyer’s launch into the US marks the company’s first expansion into a new market.
Initially bitFlyer plans to target professional traders and institutions in the US, offering BTC/USD trading at launch and then expand to support other trading pairs and products.
One of the major exchange’s investors Joe Saijo, President & Managing Director of Recruit Strategic Partners, a subsidiary of Recruit Holdings focusing on investing in innovative startups from all around the world, stated:
We invested in bitFlyer, Inc. because of its ambitions to be a global exchange with a strong presence in the US. I’m thrilled to see the company take this important step forward.
Meanwhile, according to the CoinMarketCap, bitcoin and its alter-ego bitcoin cash are currently traded at $4042 and $708 with market caps $66,7B and $11,6B correspondingly. In this context, as far as bitcoin is concerned, Goldman Sachs’ analyst predicts bitcoin price will hit $4,827, another expert sets the price target of $7500 for the currency.