Japan’s Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA), an official self-regulatory body of crypto exchanges, has added San Francisco-based crypto exchange Coinbase as a second-class member.
Coinbase has in the past applied for an operating license in the country, which suggests the cryptocurrency exchange is preparing for a presence in the Japanese market. The JVCEA announced the news, and revealed two other local firms – Tokyo Hash and Digital Asset Markets – joined the organization as second-class members as well.
The JVCEA was created back in 2018 to restore confidence in the industry, which was being plagued by a number of crypto exchange hacks. These included the biggest one ever seen in the industry, in which hackers stole $500 million worth of NEM tokens from Coincheck.
The move sees the San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange join other second-class members “applying for or planning to apply for virtual currency exchange registration as prescribed in Article 63-3 of the Payment Services Act.”
The JCVEA currently has 22 class one members, including leading industry players in the country like Rakuten, SBI, and bitFlyer. Its second-class members include Coinage, OKCoin, WIREX Japan, and others. While businesses looking to expand to the country can apply to enter the JVCEA, exchanges willing to offer services in Japan need a license from the Financial Services Agency (FSA) – Coinbase hasn’t received its license.
Notably, the San Francisco-based exchange became the first “pure” crypto firm to become a Visa principal member. Being a Visa principal member means it can cut middlemen and issue its own debit cards.