Coinbase Opens Japan Office, Appoints Former Morgan Stanley Banker as CEO

Coinbase, the leading U.S. exchange for cryptocurrencies, is making significant inroads into Asia as the popular trading venue has opened a new office in Japan.

This is an important milestone for the company that tries to expand to new markets and will also lay the foundation for Japan’s crypto investors to access a range of Coinbase’s products.

Coinbase went on to say that it has “big plans” for the year ahead, including the completion of its registration with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FCA).

Nao Kitazawa, a former investment banker at Morgan Stanley, will take on the role of CEO of Coinbase Japan. With the expansion, he will be tasked with affirming Coinbase’s position as a safe harbor among crypto asset exchanges.

As the head of the new branch, Kitazawa will also pursue compliance with domestic regulations and law enforcement, putting Coinbase on the right side of the law. In doing so, the nearly six-year-old company will have another huge asset in a sector that is still in desperate need of regulatory guidance.

The San Francisco-based company has soared in popularity and turned itself into the on-ramp for mainstream crypto investors as it has never been hacked, unlike many of its competitors.

Japan stands out in Asia when it comes to the regulatory aspect, especially after several jurisdictions such as China and India made it nearly impossible for crypto firms to exist. As such, Coinbase’s expansion further confirms that Japan will continue to quest to become a global cryptocurrency hub.

Coinbase steps up efforts to expand business

Coinbase, which operates in 32 countries, has been working on ways to expand its business as it tries to stay ahead of the competition. The company has made a series of announcements that pave the way towards transferring its exchange customers to a new trading platform by next year, while reportedly stepping up its efforts to acquire new startups

Coinbase has recently acquired Paradex, a peer-to-peer trading platform for ERC20 tokens.‎ Paradex is built on top of the 0x protocol, which allows for exchange settlement without the need for user accounts or taking custodianship of their funds.

The statement released by Coinbase further reads: “As in other markets, we plan to take a deliberate approach to our rollout in Japan, which means working hand-in-hand with the Japanese FSA to ensure compliance with local laws at every stage. Nao’s passion for cryptocurrency combined with his extensive background provides Coinbase with a great foundation to successfully push into the largest cryptocurrency market in the world. As a regulated, compliant crypto company in the U.S., we will focus on building that same level trust with new customers in Japan.”

(Photo: Coinbase)

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