Fears over increased regulation in the cryptocurrency space are widely believed to have been behind the pause in skyrocketing cryptocurrency prices, while rumours of a cryptocurrency exchange ban in South Korea led to a sharp correction in prices last week. Despite the market’s newfound caution, bitFlyer, for one, is convinced that cryptocurrencies aren’t going anywhere. The Japanese exchange has just announced that in addition to their Japanese and American operations they are opening a European exchange too.
bitFlyer counts both Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation among its investors and has the largest Bitcoin trading volume in Japan, one of the world’s biggest Bitcoin markets. This week Luxembourg regulators granted it a licence to trade in the European Union. As such, bitFlyer is now the world’s most regulated exchange, with licences to operate in the world’s three largest cryptocurrency markets: the US, EU and Japan.
The proposed audience for the European branch of the exchange is high-volume professional traders. According to Andy Bryant, bitFlyer Europe’s COO, the platform will be “designed by traders for traders”. The initial offering will be a BTC/EUR pair, but other options are expected later this year, including Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.
The Need for regulation
Yuzo Kano, CEO of bitFlyer, said that proper regulation was “fundamental to the long-term future of Bitcoin and the virtual currency industry”. According to Reuters he has no fear that cryptocurrencies might be regulated out of existence. “They [i.e. regulators] know you shouldn’t ban cryptocurrencies because you will push them underground”, he said.
Luxembourg authorities were pleased to welcome the new venture, with finance minister Pierre Gramegna saying that they were, “delighted that one of the most successful Japanese startups chose Luxembourg as their EU platform”.