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Coinbase ceasing Japan operations

Lucinda Shen
Jan 18, 2023
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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Coinbase is halting its Japan operations roughly a year-and-a-half after it set up shop in the country, the crypto exchange announced Wednesday.

Why it's the BFD: CEO Brian Armstrong last week revealed the company would cut operational costs by 25% and shut down projects, but he kept mum on which projects would fall by the wayside.

Details: Citing market conditions, Coinbase Japan said it would give customers until Feb. 16 to withdraw funds.

  • Coinbase also plans to conduct a review of its business in the country.

Background: Competitor Kraken also announced plans to exit Japan late last year.

Between the lines: The news makes Coinbase an even more unlikely suitor for FTX Japan, which has gone up for sale amid its parent company's bankruptcy proceedings.

  • Monex Group CEO Oki Matsumoto has voiced interest in the asset, per Bloomberg.

Of note: Coinbase executives have deemed international expansion a core part of the company's strategy, with Armstrong in November noting that more spot trading has moved offshore.

What we're watching: Which international markets Coinbase will double down on, and which it plans to retreat from in the current downturn.

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