Tokyo-based bitFlyer, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges leading the market in Japan, recently announced the launch of bitFlyer USA, a San-Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange targeted at professional traders who trade a minimum of $100,000 a month.
The platform will enable traders to buy and sell bitcoin through market, limit, and complex order types, as the company recently received a BitLicense from the New York’s Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), making it the fourth company to receive it, following Circle, Ripple, and Coinbase.
Regarding the acquisition of the BitLicense, Bartek Ringwelski, the company’s USA Chief Operating Officer (COO), stated:
“Our expansion and upcoming cross-border trading addresses a huge unmet need in the U.S. by institutional traders looking to access large amounts of liquidity across multiple virtual currency markets. Through our web interface or API, approved professional traders can be up and running and making trades in a matter of hours.”
bitFlyer’s move to the U.S. has been in the works since August, but the market’s complex regulatory environment stopped it from opening the San-Francisco based exchange sooner. Notably, it’ll connect U.S. traders with bitFlyer’s Japanese exchange, which reportedly already traded over $100 billion in cryptocurrency so far this year.
This is significant for traders, as according to data from Cryptocompare over 50% of Bitcoin’s trading volume is against the Japanese Yen. By comparison, about 28% of trading is against the U.S. dollar, while with the Euro it’s at 5.6%.
For now, biFlyer’s U.S. platform only supports Bitcoin trading, but plans on adding support for Ether, Litecoin, and other cryptocurrencies early next year. Other exchanges who received New York’s BitLicense have been successful. As Forbes points out, Coinbase’s GDAX is one of the most popular in the world, with its latest 24-hour trading volume of $743 million being mostly made of Bitcoin-to-USD trades. By comparison, bitFlyer’s trading volume in the same period was of $288 million, 98% of which came from Bitcoin-to-JPY trades.
Notably, Coinbase is only allowed to operate in 37 states in the U.S., while bitFlyer – which is backed by the Digital Currency Group – will operate in 41. The difference may be significant, especially for institutional investors looking to get in on the cryptocurrency market. bitFlyer plans to offer zero percent trading fees to U.S. traders until the end of the year.
Yuzo Kano, bitFlyer’s CEO, stated:
“The BitLicense propels bitFlyer forward in our mission to make the world simpler through blockchain. DFS’ rigorous application ensures only the most safe and compliant firms can operate in New York. The US team has worked closely with DFS through the application process and we appreciate the relationship we’ve built with them.”