Japanese Bitcoin exchange bitFlyer becomes regulated in Europe


Tokyo-based bitFlyer, which operates a Bitcoin exchange, has been granted a Payment Institution (PI) license to operate in the European Union.

The company has now become the first Bitcoin exchange to be regulated in Japan, the US and Europe, making it the most compliant virtual currency exchange in the world. Established in 2014, the company claims that it facilitated 25% of worldwide bitcoin exchange volumes and saw over $250bn in virtual currency traded on its platform in 2017.

bitFlyer’s initial product offering is the BTC/EUR pair; however, it plans to add support for other virtual currencies such as Litecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin Cash later in the year. bitFlyer Europe is offering zero percent trading fees as an introductory promotion.

The company said it is initially targeting professional, high-volume traders, an audience currently underserved in Europe. It wants to bring a platform designed by traders for traders to the continent according to Andy Bryant, chief operating officer of bitFlyer Europe.

Yuzo Kano, founder and CEO of bitFlyer and ex-Goldman Sachs trader, added: “When I set up bitFlyer in 2014, I did so with global ambitions and the belief that approved regulatory status is fundamental to the long-term future of Bitcoin and the virtual currency industry. I am proud that we are now the most compliant virtual currency exchange in the world; this coveted regulatory status gives our customers, our company and the virtual currency industry as a whole a very positive future outlook.”

bitFlyer was granted its Payment Institution license by the Luxembourg regulator, Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) and from the company’s base at The Luxembourg House of Financial Technology Foundation (The LHoFT).

Companies in the Blockchain & Cryptocurrency sector received $1.4bn in the first three quarters of 2017, more than double the total investment in 2016 according to data by FinTech Global. Investments in companies specialising in Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies increased year on year at a 14.2% CAGR between 2014 and 2016. So far, 2017 has been particularly successful for the sector with $1.4bn worth of investment so far. Almost half of the funding in the first three quarters of 2017 went to deals valued $100m and above.

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