Coinsquare, one of Canada’s biggest digital currency exchanges, is making inroads into Asia as the trading venue plans to open a new cryptocurrency exchange in Japan. The move, which involves a partnership with blockchain investment bank DLTa21, comes as Japanese regulators investigate such exchanges in the country after hackers stole millions in some the world’s biggest cyberheists.
Coinsquare, aka Canada’s Coinbase, said in a statement on Tuesday that it has applied to Japan’s financial regulator to operate an exchange under the DLa21X brand, with the application under review.
Coinsquare expressed confidence that its venture would pass without hitches as the new partnership combines its crypto platform technology with “DLTa21’s Japan and Canada based team of experts in trading, compliance, and blockchain / distributed ledger technologies (DLT).”
Coinsquare claims $5 billion per year of cryptocurrency trades and over 100,000 customers. The company has raised $23.63 million in a funding round earlier this year and is targeting a $120 million IPO in September to help finance an overseas expansion.
Prospects of lucrative business
Japan is seen as a global cryptocurrency capital, with trading volumes on its local exchanges reaching dizzying heights. With the exponential increase in prices last year, the number of market participants also ramped up.
Overall, 2017 was a watershed year for the virtual asset class in Japan. A recent survey by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) confirmed that just under 3.5 million investors had holdings in at least one cryptocurrency.
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Competition among established players to launch crypto exchanges in Japan is also surging amid a rush of investors into the market. The sector also has been marred by disruptions, delays, and hacks, including Coincheck’s $530 million hack in January.
Japan’s watchdogs also continue to challenge exchanges to prove their security credentials as the huge scale of recent hacks led them to begin on-site inspections, which then revealed a host of problems with security, corporate governance, and internal controls.
Several crypto venues have opted to exit the Japanese market as a result of FSA inspections and requests, as they thought they would be unable to meet the regulator’s endless demands.
However, many cryptocurrency enthusiasts look at Japan’s crackdown as a sign that the country is building an environment in which they can feel safe in pumping their investments and store crypto assets with these exchanges.
Commenting on the news, Matthew Hornor, Executive Chairman of DLTa21, said, “In addition to fast-growing interest in Japan to develop world-class decentralized applications on the blockchain (dApps), Japan reportedly accounts for the majority of global Bitcoin trading. DLTa21 is committed to offering Japan’s 3.5 million plus cryptocurrency exchange traders truly world-class solutions and security.”
Cole Diamond, CEO of Coinsquare, added: “Japan is a unique market and we’re looking forward to offering our platform’s capabilities to the Japanese market.”