Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange bitFlyer has announced its official expansion into the United States and has also been granted a BitLicense to operate in New York.
Announced today, the official launch of bitflyer USA follows a closed beta where 2,000 select traders bought and sold bitcoin through the newly launched platform. bitFlyer, Japan’s largest bitcoin exchange by trading volume, established an office in San Francisco in August and notably revealed it had already obtained regulatory approval to operate in 34 states, at the time.
Coinciding with its launch today, bitFlyer confirmed its formal approval to operate in New York state after being granted a BitLicense. Established by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) in 2014, the licensing framework has come under criticism for restrictive regulations in the past and had, so far, only granted three licenses to Circle, Rippleand Coinbase. bitFlyer becomes the fourth company to obtain the license and the first exchange from abroad to do so.
“bitFlyer is proud to have been granted a BitLicense to do business in the state of New York,” said bitFlyer CEO Yuzo Kano. “This is a nod of approval from one of the most influential state financial services regulators in the nation.”
Notably, bitFlyer adds its foray into the United States will primarily target institutional investors who make an “untapped” market. The marketplace and platform is designed for professional traders who routinely trade $100,000 or more in cryptocurrencies each month, according to the exchange.
bitFlyer USA’s chief operating officer Bartek Ringwelski added:
Our expansion and upcoming cross-border trading addresses a huge unmet need in the US by institutional traders looking to access large amounts of liquidity across multiple virtual currency markets. Through our web interface or API, approved professional traders can be up and running and making trades in a matter of minutes.
Further, bitFlyer confirmed plans to include support for cryptocurrencies like Litecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Cash and more in early 2018. With its launch today, the exchange has enabled bitcoin trading and is offering zero percent trading fees till the end of the year.
Among the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges, bitFlyer has seen institutional backing from none other than Japan’s three ‘megabanks’ who are all investors in the bitcoin exchange.