Crypto exchange Kraken to stop operations in Japan

Crypto exchange Kraken to stop operations in Japan
Kraken cryptocurrency exchange logo is seen in this illustration taken July 28, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By Rhea Binoy

(Reuters) – U.S.-based crypto exchange Kraken said on Wednesday it would cease its operations in Japan next month, citing the current market conditions in the country and a weak crypto market globally.

Kraken will deregister from the Financial Services Agency (JFSA) as of Jan. 31, by which time clients would have to withdraw their fiat and crypto holdings, it said in a statement.

Kraken said it is fully funded to ensure that all affected clients could withdraw their assets in a timely manner.

Last month, Kraken said it would reduce its workforce by 30%, or about 1,100 employees, as tough market conditions had crippled demand for digital assets.

Bitcoin, the pre-eminent cryptocurrency, has lost 60% of its value this year, while the wider crypto market has shrunk by $1.4 trillion, squashed by the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX empire, Celsius and supposed ‘stablecoins’ terraUSD and Luna.