Japanese Crypto Exchange bitFlyer Eyes Expansion with Acquisition

Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, bitFlyer, is considering scaling up its operations by the acquisition of a small rival exchange, the Co-Founder, Yuzo Kano revealed in a recent Bloomberg interview.

“We are thinking of acquiring a small exchange because we are not super big,” Kano said while speaking at the sidelines of the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore on Thursday.

However, he did not specify any potential targets for the acquisition. He even said that bitFlyer might approach exchanges either in the domestic Japanese market or internationally. “It could be in Japan or in a different country,” he said.

International Markets Are the Target 

Established in 2014, bitFlyer is Japan’s largest digital currency trading venue with 3 million users and $8 billion worth of assets, but its exposure is limited outside the country. “bitFlyer is very well known in Japan, but nobody knows it in Europe or the US,” the Co-Founder added. 

Meanwhile, the exchange has already started to expand its international footprint and has operations in both Europe and the United States. Earlier in March, the US affiliate of the Japanese exchange opened services to the US state of Connecticut after receiving a money transmitting license.

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bitFlyer is aiming to capture 10 percent of the overall cryptocurrency market share in the US. However, Kano acknowledged that the expansion efforts in the country could be very difficult given the dominance of Coinbase.

Moreover, the Japanese exchange is eying Asian markets and has already applied for a license in Singapore.

Apart from the usual crypto trading, bitFlyer is considering entering the booming non-fungible token space similar to other established Japanese financial services companies

“Japan has a huge advantage,” Kano said on the potential of the Japanese NFT market. “It has a lot of intellectual property on anime characters like Pokemon and Hello Kitty.”

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