Kraken, a major US cryptocurrency exchange, has launched financial cryptocurrency trading services in Japan, helping to expand the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

On October 22, the exchange announced that it launched spot trading in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) for Japanese residents. The pairs are available in both cryptocurrencies and the Japanese yen.

Clients can deposit in five cryptocurrency groups, and domestic deposits and withdrawals are also available in Japanese Yen through SBI Sumishin Net Bank. In a statement, Kraken claimed to be the only global crypto company to “organically enter” the Japanese market “without acquisitions.”

Ironically, the statement reveals how the company entered the Australian market by purchasing the country’s oldest cryptocurrency exchange, Bit Trade, in January. Kraken began supporting Australian dollar financing and connectivity in June.

Kraken previously provided its services to Japanese residents in 2014, but after nearly four years they stopped serving Japan, citing rising operating costs and a strategic decision to focus on “other geographies”.

Kraken announced that it will return to Japan last month after obtaining a “crypto asset exchange service provider” license on September 8th. The exchange allowed users to create accounts starting September 18th.

David Ripley, Chief Operating Officer at Kraken, said he was happy to be back in Japan and said, “In today’s tough economic environment, more people are turning to cryptocurrencies to hedge against volatile markets and using digital currencies as a store of value.”

Kraken plans to expand the list of services and cryptocurrencies available in the coming months. More than two million people in Japan have accounts on cryptocurrency exchanges.

Takeshi Chino, CEO of Japan’s subsidiary Kraken Payward Asia, pointed to the growing demand for decentralized financing (DeFi) in Japan and said:

“Investors are not only attracted in space by price action, but also by new investment opportunities, including innovations currently appearing in the DeFi space.”

Source: CoinTelegraph