Coinbase stops Japan operations amid trading slump

Despite Bitcoin (BTC) returning to pre-FTX collapse price levels, the contagion still affects the industry, forcing Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange to close operations in Japan.

Coinbase officially announced on Jan. 18 that the firm will be terminating operations in Japan and conduct a complete review of its business in the country due to market conditions.

All Coinbase Japan customers will have about a month to withdraw their fiat and crypto holdings from the platform by Feb. 16. After Feb. 17, the remaining crypto assets held by Coinbase Japan customers will be automatically converted to the Japanese yen (JPY). Fiat currency deposits will not be available from Jan. 20.

The firm noted that clients will be able to move the assets to any other virtual asset service provider, a self-custodial wallet as well as Coinbase Wallet. Customers can also liquidate their portfolio and withdraw their assets to a domestic bank account.

Coinbase stressed that the platform is committed to making the service termination as smooth as possible, assuring customers that all users can withdraw their assets at the earliest convenience.

As previously reported, Coinbase originally started planning its Japanese expansion during a bear market of 2018.

Related: Japan to lift the ban on foreign stablecoins like USDT in 2023: Report

In quitting Japan, Coinbase follows in the footsteps of Kraken, another global crypto exchange that decided to cease operations in the country in late 2022. The exchange said it faced similar challenges in Japan, citing a “weak crypto market.”

Both Kraken and Coinbase have also significantly reduced their workforce, with Kraken laying off 30% of its staff soon after the FTX exchange collapsed in November. Coinbase, which already had its staff reduced by 18% last year, announced another 20% workforce cut in January.

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