News has come out of the American cryptocurrency exchange giant and wallet provider Coinbase announcing shock growth plans to evolve into Japan. In a statement, the company branded it as “as part of our effort to accelerate the global adoption of cryptocurrency.”
The company stated they would apply for a license with the country’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), “within the year,” This process is mandatory for all crypto exchanges operating in the country since April 2017, when Japan’s Payment Services Act was amended. This is to complement their efforts abroad as Coinbase has been strategically working closely with regulators to improve its security and compliance, with recent reports emerging that the company is attempting to obtain a federal banking charter for its US and North American operations.
This is noteworthy because Japan is considered to be the home of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies, mainly through the sheer volume of traders living on there and Coinbase’s expansions have big implications for the rest of the crypto-community.
Allegedly, the US company is said to be working together with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) on its expansion to the Japanese market. It is said that MUFG has invested over 1 billion yen (around USD 9 million) in Coinbase since 2004.
The Japanese yen now accounts for more than half of all traditional fiat currencies traded into Bitcoin, and according to Kazuyuki Shimamura, Director of the Financial System Stabilization Planning Office at the Financial Services Agency of Japan, this is due to local legislation, as the Japanese government last year amended its banking law and introduced the Virtual Currency Act.
Japan and the far east isn’t the only strategic growth area for the company. Coinbase is strengthening its positions in other regions, too. In March, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) granted an E-money license, which will also be extended beyond the UK to 23 countries within the EU. It means that Coinbase has the approval to issue e-money and provide payment services in the UK.
So how will this affect the market?
This news has sparked speculation that we could now see another bull run in the coming weeks and for good reason. Usually, what is common to observe is once an exchange opens its doors to a new area of the world or accepts a new, popular cryptocurrency, it creates positive sentiment and a price spike. Once Coinbase secures its growth to Japan, we will expect to see, certainly the capability of huge trading volumes.
This will inevitably add fuel to the regular fire of when Ripple (XRP) will get an officially listing within Coinbase. Ripple is the ultimate cryptocurrency to be associated with gossip and rumour. This time it is not unjust to become excited. Ripple is regarded as one of the most highly traded coins in Japan and commercially and from a marketing perspective it would make logical sense for the company to allow the facility for Ripple buying and selling. Ripple has bounced 13% in the last 7days and after a few false starts directly linking Ripple and Coinbase to this rumour a listing for Ripple would, in turn, see the value of XRP skyrocket and great exposure for Coinbase.
The main issue has been that Coinbase won’t list Ripple XRP until XRP is no longer associated with securities, an aspect of Ripple that keeps it unique from other altcoins. It’s a matter of time before either Coinbase or Ripple become big enough or so big that each will need or require each other to work together which is an evitable and exciting prospect.