Continuing its global expansion after its entry into the US market last year, Japanese bitcoin exchange giant bitFlyer has announced its launch in Europe.
Bitflyer, one of the world’s earliest and largest cryptocurrency trading platforms, has officially launched in Europe after receiving regulatory approval that deems it a recognized Payment Institution (PI) in the European Union.
In an announcement, Tokyo-based bitFlyer confirmed the PI license grant from the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier, the financial regulator of Luxembourg, and the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology Foundation (LHoFT). “We're delighted that one of the most successful Japanese startups chose Luxembourg as their EU platform,” said Luxembourg’s finance minister Pierre Gramegna. With it, bitFlyer has a license and will play by the rules – akin to a bank - to operate across the EU as bitFlyer Europe, the wholly-owned EU subsidiary of bitFlyer.
Staking the claim as the first bitcoin exchange to be regulated in Japan, the United States and now Europe, bitFlyer CEO and founder Yuzo Kane added:
"I am proud that we are now the most compliant virtual currency exchange in the world; this coveted regulatory status gives our customers, our company and the virtual currency industry as a whole a very positive future outlook."
The company’s European office will be located in Luxembourg and bitFlyer adds that its initial focus will be reserved to high-volume, professional traders who are ‘currently underserved’ in the continent. At launch, bitFlyer Europe will offer bitcoin as a trading pair with the euro (BTC/EUR). The company confirmed upcoming support for other cryptocurrencies including Litecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin Cash at some point in 2018.
bitFlyer, which notably sees all three of Japan’s megabanks as investors in the exchange, is Japan’s largest by trading volume and the fifth-largest in the world currently, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Its expansion into Europe comes within five months of its launch in the United States after the Japanese exchange got the nod from regulators, including a grant of New York’s BitLicense, to operate in 34 states.
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