Kraken launches bitcoin-yen trading in Japan

Bitcoin exchange Kraken has launched trading between bitcoin and Japanese yen. The San Francisco based exchange has launched operations in Japan, marking an important milestone in the integration of bitcoin into the global financial infrastructure.

“We recognized in 2011 that the exchange is the most important and fundamental part of the Bitcoin ecosystem,” said Kraken CEO Jesse Powell. “This is why Kraken was founded. It was clear to us that a strong foundation can only be achieved by doing what’s in the best interests of clients and the space as a whole.”

The company was keen to highlight the strength of Kraken’s security and engineering team, as well as its high trade volumes and reputation for compliance, given a media tendency to associate the crypto-currency with the failure of  Mt Gox and Silk Road.

“We look forward to bringing our expertise and service to Japan,” Powell added. “There is an overdue need for an exchange that puts its clients’ interests first and is dedicated to building relationships based on trust.”

The new trading option coincides with the launch of domestic JPY funding which will allow clients in Japan to quickly fund their Kraken accounts with their national currency.

Kraken is the only major exchange to offer a dedicated XBT/JPY order book.

Kraken has previously been committed to larger trade in bitcoin in Japan. Prior to working on the launch of JPY trading, Kraken helped Japanese parliament member Mineyuki Fukuda and the IT Committee of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to establish the Japan Authority of Digital Assets (JADA) to regulate the bitcoin industry in Japan.

JADA is a self-regulating organization of bitcoin businesses but has government backing to serve as an officially sanctioned liaison between bitcoin businesses and government departments.

Bitcoin-euro trading (XBT/EUR) has been available in Japan since Kraken opened in September 2013, but this latest move is likely to increase the crypto-currency’s growth. Bitcoin growth in Japan is looking healthy despite the early image setbacks.

Simple brokerages BtcBox, BitFlyer and Pay-Bit have opened over the last few months, plus the pan-Asian trader-focused exchange Quoine, which operates a Japanese language site. Together with payment processors Coincheck and Bitbank, they all allow deposits and withdrawals for Japanese banks.

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