Crypto Exchange Coinbase Plans Expansion With Japanese Office

(Bloomberg) -- Coinbase Inc., one of the largest U.S. digital-currency exchanges, is expanding into one of the world’s hottest crypto markets.

The San Francisco-based company, which operates in 32 countries, is opening an office in Japan as it seeks to further broaden its influence beyond the U.S. Nao Kitazawa, a former investment banker at Morgan Stanley, will be chief executive officer of the new branch.

“As in other markets, we plan to take a deliberate approach to our roll out in Japan, which means working hand-in-hand with the Japanese FSA to ensure compliance with local laws at every stage,” Coinbase, which has served more than 20 million customers, said in a blog post Monday. “As a regulated, compliant crypto company in the U.S., we will focus on building that same level trust with new customers in Japan.”

Crypto Exchange Coinbase Plans Expansion With Japanese Office

The exchange operator, which would need a license to expand into Japan, is in active discussions with Japan’s Financial Services Agency, or FSA, Coinbase spokesman Elliott Suthers said in an email.

If the company does secure a license, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. is a potential banking partner, a person familiar with the matter said earlier this month. MUFG, which has invested in Coinbase, partnered with the crypto firm in 2016 to support its international expansion efforts.

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