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Coinbase to halt operation in Japan

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Coinbase announced that it would be halting its operation in Japan due to current market conditions.

The exchange said in a Jan. 18 announcement that it was forced it to “make the difficult decision” to halt operations in the country and conduct a complete revision of its Japanese business.

The decision comes just days after the company announced that it was beginning to wind down its operations in the country. Coinbase’s Vice President for Business Development, Nana Murugesan, said on Jan. 11 that the company wasn’t interested in mergers and acquisitions and won’t sell its Japanese unit.

At the time, Murugesan said that the shutdown wouldn’t take place until Coinbase finalized its discussions with the Japanese Financial Services Agency. A small number of employees are set to remain in their positions in the coming weeks so that the company can ensure the safety of customer assets.

Operation ceased in Japan

Discussions with the Japanese authorities have now been finalized, and the exchange is closing down.

Customers will be able to deposit fiat currencies into the exchange until Jan. 20, after which the functionality will be halted. Withdrawal for both fiat and crypto will be available until Feb. 16. Any remaining cryptocurrencies left on Coinbase accounts after Feb. 17 will be converted to JPY and transferred to a Guaranty Account at the Legal Affairs Bureau.

Coinbase said that customers would be able to withdraw their holdings to any cryptocurrency wallet or liquidate their portfolio and withdraw their JPY to a Japanese bank account.

The announcement comes a week after the exchange said that it would be laying off around 950 of its employees globally. The company said that the layoffs are part of a restructuring process that will enable it to weather the bear market.

Coinbase’s Japanese platform was launched in August 2021 in a bid to capture the growing market. At the time, Coinbase partnered with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), one of the largest banks in Japan, to service its growing Japanese user base.

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