Coinbase to End Japan Operations as Part of Cost-cutting Drive By

© Reuters

By Geoffrey Smith – Coinbase (NASDAQ) admits defeat in Japan.

The cryptocurrency exchange said on Wednesday it is pulling out of Japan, in the latest phase of a deep downturn after crypto values ​​collapsed last year.

The company, which announced plans to cut another 20% of its staff earlier this month, said it would conduct a “full review of our business in the country.”

In announcing the layoffs last week, CEO Brian Armstrong said the company will close several projects where it sees “a lower probability of success.”

Adoption of cryptocurrencies in Japan has been slow, compared to the size of its overall economy, not least because of early actions by financial regulators to limit what exchanges could do. Coinbase competitor Kraken said at the end of December that it would also cease operations in the country this month.

Customers will have until February 16 to withdraw their cryptocurrency and fiat holdings from the exchange. Any property left with him after this date will be converted into Japanese yen and the money will be sent to an escrow account at the Office of Legal Affairs, in line with local law.

The news comes as other digital currencies are experiencing something of a mini-recovery, amid initial hopes that the worst is over. Recent signs of a slowdown in the pace of interest rate hikes have supported and hopes that their trajectory this year will reverse cryptocurrencies along with other risk assets. Coinbase stock rose more than 8% on Tuesday as bitcoin surged above $22,000 for the first time in two months.

However, significant skepticism remains around the industry, particularly in the form of the SEC’s accusations against Gemini and Genesis, and in the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation into the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance.

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