Japan, that has recently emerged among the most crypto-supporting markets in the world, is losing a competitive crypto exchange as the year 2022 draws closer to an end. Kraken crypto exchange has decided to exit the Japanese market in a bid to prioritise its resources at this time, when the global crypto industry is currently undergoing a slump. On Wednesday, December 28, the crypto market valuation witnessed its yearly low and stood at $801 billion (roughly Rs. 66,42,614 crore).
The authorities of Kraken are looking to finalise its deregistration from Japan’s Financial Services Agency by January 31, 2023.
“Current market conditions in Japan in combination with a weak crypto market globally mean the resources needed to further grow our business in Japan aren’t justified at this time. As a result, Kraken will no longer service clients in Japan through Payward Asia,” the exchange said in an official blog.
Founded in 2011, Kraken is based in San Francisco, US. The exchange, as per BitDegree is used by over four million people around the world.
Now that the company is pulling its services away from its Japanese userbase, Kraken has asked its customers in the country to withdraw their fiat and crypto holdings before February.
“On January 9, deposit functionality will be removed from your account. Trading functionality will remain so that you can convert your balance to the asset of your choice. In addition, withdrawal limits have been removed for the month of January to ensure you can remove your assets from Kraken. Funds currently staked with Kraken can be unstaked and transferred or converted as desired,” Kraken further added.
Whatever Japanese Yen remains with Kraken at the start of February, will be deposited to a Guaranty Account at the Legal Affairs Bureau.
After having operated in Japan between 2014 to 2018, Kraken had halted its services in Japan to ‘focus its resources’ in expanding to other regions.
The company re-launched its offerings in the Asian nation in 2020 and soon after, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kashida expressed positive views on crypto adoption, calling virtual digital assets potential tools that could usher an era of ‘new capitalism’.
For the first half of the year 2022, the crypto market valuation hovered around the trillion-dollar mark, but in the last six months, over $200 billion (roughly Rs. 16,57,902 crore) was wiped off from the market after promising crypto projects like LUNA and the FTX crypto exchange collapsed due to liquidity crunches.
The distrust of crypto investors from this high-risk asset category pulled down Bitcoins value from $68,000 (roughly Rs. 56 lakh) that was recorded in November last year, to its current price of $16,800 (roughly Rs. 13.9 lakh).
Kraken, that laid off 30 percent of its staff this month, is not the only company to have had to resort to stern measures to keep its business afloat during these testing market times.
Earlier this week, NEAR Protocol’s Octopus Network slashed 40 percent of its workforce as a cost cutting measure.