Japanese cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer announced today it’s expanding to the U.S ., with approving to operate in 42 countries starting today. This includes regulatory acceptance in New York via the state’s Department of Financial Services’ “BitLicense”, which merely five other cryptocurrency companies currently have.
The exchange is by far the biggest in Japan, trading about $180 million worth of bitcoin per day. In words of traditional exchange volume this ranks as the 14 th largest exchange worldwide ,~ ATAGEND but when you add margin volume to the computation the exchange is actually the largest in the world in terms of total exchange volume.
Founded in 2014, bitFlyer has raised a total of $36 million in venture funding.
At launch bitFlyer’s U.S. exchange will merely support bitcoin/ USD pairs, but “plans to expand its cryptocurrencies to include altcoins such as Litecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Cash and more.”
Right now the exchange merely supports deposit and withdraw via bitcoin and USD wire transfer, which means early users will likely be institutional or high net worth investors. Eventually the exchange wants to add additional forms of money inflow and outflow like ACH transfer, making it easier for the average consumer to deposit or withdraw cash.
Like most exchanges bitFlyer will have tiered verification levels. The first level asks for personal information like your name and address and email and cell phone verification, and in return you can deposit and withdraw up to $2,000 in bitcoin per day and trade up to $3,000 in bitcoin per day. The second tier asks for additional information like bank account verification and proof of identity via photo ID, and allows users to deposit and withdraw up to $50,000 in bitcoin per day and trade an limitless sum of the cryptocurrency.
With Bitcoin spiking 1,200 percentage over the past year, there’s a ton of demand to trade the cryptocurrency and not a lot of places to do it. While there are dozens of established exchanges around the world only a few operate legally in the United States, with the two main ones being Gemini and Coinbase. And even these exchanges get flack for slow customer service response times, an almost unavoidable byproduct of the insane spike in customers they are seeing.
If bitFlyer can provide a solid trading and customer service experience, there’s a lot of room for them to establish themselves in the U.S. market.
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