Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken on Wednesday announced that it will stop offering trading services through its subsidiary, Payward Asia, in Japan on January 31, 2023, and deregister from the Financial Services Agency of the Asian nation.
This marks Kraken's second exit from the Japanese market. The first was in 2018, four years after the exchange launched its operations in the country. In 2020, it obtained regulator registration and reopened in Japan.
According to Kraken, this action was taken as part of its efforts to focus resources and investments in areas that align with its vision and will best position it for long-term success.
Kraken has given a mix of "current market conditions in Japan" and a "weak crypto market globally" as reasons for its decision to withdraw from the Japanese market.
According to the company, Japanese customers have until Jan. 31 to withdraw their fiat and cryptocurrency assets from the Kraken platform.
They will have the option of cashing out and transferring Japanese yen to a local bank account, or withdrawing their cryptocurrency to an external wallet.
Money Cannot Be Deposited After Jan. 9
Starting on Jan. 9, users in Japan will no longer be able to deposit money into their accounts, but they will still be able to trade their balance for the asset of their choice.
Kraken is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, processing $408.9 billion in daily trading activity.
The company has recently been in cost-cutting mode, along with many other significant industry players.
On Nov. 30, Kraken cut 1,100 employees, or 30% of its personnel, citing the need to "adapt to current market conditions."
This year has been dubbed the cryptocurrency industry's "annus horribilis" due to the numerous controversies that have affected the space.
The suffering in the cryptocurrency industry began with the failure of Terra (CRYPTO: LUNA), a once $60 billion stablecoin operator, and continued with the collapse of numerous other companies with exposure to the project, including the cryptocurrency lender Celsius and hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.
The most famous industry failure to date is the demise of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX (CRYPTO: FTT), whose co-founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is now awaiting trial on fraud and other allegations while free on bond.