Kraken Abandons Japanese Crypto Exchange Due to Global Market Struggles


The Kraken Services of cryptocurrency exchange have pulled out of Japan, citing global market conditions and a weak crypto market as justification for not investing further resources. Japan is no longer a viable option for the company at this time.

Kraken Leaves the Japanese Crypto Market

Cryptocurrency Exchange Kraken issued a statement on Wednesday, announcing their decision to “cease operations in Japan and de-register from the Financial Services Agency (JFSA) effective January 31, 2023.”

The Company explained that their choice to terminate their presence in the Japanese crypto market is part of their “efforts to prioritize resources and investments” in areas that are in line with their strategic plan and “will best position Kraken for long-term success.” They went into more detail in the announcement.

Given the current state of the Japanese market, combined with the weak global crypto market, our business needs additional resources to grow. They are not warranted at the moment.

“As a result, Kraken will no longer serve customers in Japan through Payward Asia,” the exchange declared. Payward Asia Inc. is the entity that operates Kraken Services in Japan.

All affected customers have until January 31 to withdraw their crypto and fiat holdings, according to the announcement. It also mentions that deposit functionality will be discontinued effective January 9. Kraken has assured clients that they are “fully funded to ensure that all affected clients can withdraw their assets in a timely manner.”

This year has been a tumultuous one for crypto markets, with bitcoin declining more than 66% year-to-date. The collapse of the Terra In ecosystem and the implosion of FTX last month have had a negative effect on many crypto companies. Several companies ended up declaring bankruptcy, including FTX, Three Arrows Capital (3AC), Voyager Digital, Celsius Network, and Blockfi.

“Since the beginning of this year, macroeconomic and geopolitical factors have weighed on financial markets. This resulted in significantly lower trade volumes and fewer customer registrations,” Kraken CEO Jesse Powell commented last month. “Unfortunately, the negative influences in the financial markets have continued and we have exhausted the preferable options to align costs with demand.” Kraken inaugurated a restructuring plan in November which includes cutting their global workforce by around 30%, or 1,100 people, “to accommodate current market conditions.”

What do you think about Kraken leaving the Japanese crypto market? Let us know in the comments section.

kevin helms

Kevin is an Austrian Economics student who discovered Bitcoin in 2011 and became an evangelist. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open source software, network effects, and the intersection economics-cryptography.

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