Kraken announces closure of Japan operations following global layoffs

KEY POINTS

  • Kraken announced last month that it was cutting its global workforce by 30%
  • The exchange said the move was necessary to be able to “adapt to current market conditions.”
  • Payward Asia Inc, the Japanese subsidiary of Kraken, was also closed in April 2018

Global cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has announced that it is ending its operations in Japan, citing a “weak crypto market”.

“Current market conditions in Japan, coupled with a weak global crypto market, mean that the resources required to further grow our business in Japan are not warranted at this time,” Kraken said in a blog post published Wednesday. , noting that “the decision is part of Kraken’s efforts to prioritize resources and investments in areas that align with our strategy and will best position Kraken for long-term success.”

As part of its decision to cease operations in the country, Kraken will withdraw from the Financial Services Agency (FSA) on January 31, 2023. By then, its clients will have withdrawn their fiat and crypto holdings from the exchange. .

Kraken has also informed its customers that it will stop the exchange’s deposit functionality on January 9 and remove withdrawal limits starting in January to ensure customers can withdraw their holdings from the exchange.

In the post, Kraken said the exchange will retain trading functionality so customers can “convert your balance into any asset you choose” and funds wagered “can be withdrawn and transferred or converted as you wish.” .

The exchange also assured its clients that it “is fully funded to ensure that all affected clients can withdraw their assets in a timely manner” and noted that it “will do everything we can to minimize the impact of our decision for you. This is why we are committed to ensuring a smooth transition and we hope the information in this email will help you decide which option is best for you.”

The announcement came after Kraken announced last month that it would cut 30% of its global workforce, or approximately 1,100 employees, due to market conditions dampening demand for crypto assets.

The exchange said the move was necessary to be able to “adapt to current market conditions,” adding that “since the start of this year, macroeconomic and geopolitical factors have weighed on financial markets.”

It should be noted that this is not the first time Kraken has gone out of business in Japan. Payward Asia Inc, its Japanese subsidiary, was closed in April 2018 after the company operated from 2014 to 2018 so that Kraken could focus its resources on growth in its “other geographies”.

The company reopened in October 2020 and set up a headquarters in Tokyo, offering spot trades on spot trades on five major assets.

The illustration shows the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange logo
Reuters

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