Coinbase Follows Kraken in Japan Withdrawal

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  • Coinbase has followed Kraken in pulling out of Japan
  • The exchange said the move was cost-related and is part of a wider cost-cutting exercise
  • Coinbase Japan launched less than 18 months ago

Coinbase will scale back its exposure to the Japanese market in a cost-saving measure, following in the footsteps of fellow exchange Kraken. Coinbase Japan, which opened in August 2021, will see most of its operations closed down as Coinbase seeks to exit countries in which it doesn’t anticipate much growth. Kraken’s departure from Japan, which was announced last month, is thought to have been behind the delay in Mt. Gox payouts.

Coinbase Japan Closes After 18 Months

Coinbase Japan launched right as the crypto market was recovering from a 50% crash following its May highs, the same time as Coinbase listed on the NASDAQ. At the time, the company promised “a best-in-class product offering to Japanese customers”, and stated that its initial offering was “just the beginning”.

Instead, Coinbase has decided to pull the plug after less than 18 months, with Nana Murugesan, vice president for business development and international, saying yesterday that Coinbase had decided to “wind down the majority of our operations in Japan” which has led to it “eliminating most of the roles in our Japan entity”.

Rather than closing down entirely, Coinbase could sell its Japanese operation to a third party, but this was not commented on by Murugesan. It isn’t known exactly how many Coinbase Japan employees are impacted, but a small number will remain to ensure the safety and security of customer assets.

Exchanges Feeling the Pinch

The closure comes as part of a global staff cutback by the exchange, with CEO Brian Armstrong saying that cutting 950 jobs was essential in order for the exchange to weather the crypto downturn. He has also said that several projects with a lower probability of success will also be shut down.

Fellow exchange Kraken announced that it was pulling out of the Japanese market in December for the same reasons, with its decision potentially being a factor in the Mt. Gox creditor payments being put back by two months.