Leading Japanese Bitcoin exchange bitFlyer today said that it has received regulatory approval to operate in the United States, and according to the company, this license applies to 34 states. The exchange revealed that it will launch its US-based Bitcoin exchange by the fall of 2017 and that it has already opened an office in San Francisco.
bitFlyer is pushing towards a more global approach specific to Bitcoin and other digital currencies. This move is part of an effort to expand outside of Japan. Part of this growing interest can be attributed to the supportive approach of Japanese officials towards Bitcoin.
At launch, the exchange will only offer BTC/USD trading but plans to add support for other cryptocurrency trading pairs and products in the near future.
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It’s not clear what type of authorization has been granted to bitFlyer, but most Bitcoin operators in the US work under ordinary money transmitter licenses.
The news follows other, similar stories of progress for Bitcoin companies in the US. Although cryptocurrency regulation still happens largely on a state-by-state basis, the commodities regulator (CFTC) recently granted Ledgerx the status of a Swap Execution Facility (SEF).
bitFlyer was founded in 2014 by former Goldman Sachs trader Yuzo Kano in a bid to fill the vacuum left in Japan by the collapse of MtGox.
bitFlyer CEO Yuzo Kano commented: “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.”
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.”