BitFlyer Sets Up EU Shop after Securing License

BitFlyer, one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges, launches a trading platform in the EU after receiving a license from Luxembourg regulators.

Japan’s BitFlyer, one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges worldwide, is extending its service to traders in the European Union, announcing on Tuesday it had received a payment-institution license to operate in the bloc. The approval was granted by Luxembourg regulator Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier and The Luxembourg House of Financial Technology Foundation.

Thus, BitFlyer becomes the first Bitcoin exchange regulated in all three major markets: Japan, the US, and the EU. At the end of November 2017, we reported that the Tokyo-based operator had secured US regulatory approval from the New York Department of Financial Service.

Currently, the company is dominant in Japan, which is, in turn, one of the key markets along with South Korea and the US. BitFlyer accounts for 80% of Bitcoin trading in Japan and up to a third of the global crypto market.

The exchange will start by offering BTC/EUR pair, subsequently adding other digital coins, such as Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. To promote the service, BitFlyer will waive trading fees until the end of February this year.  

The EU operations will be conducted through a new subsidiary called BitFlyer Europe SA. 

BitFlyer CEO Yuzo Kano, a former Goldman Sachs trader, commented on the event as follows:

“When I set up bitFlyer in 2014, I did so with global ambitions and the belief that approved regulatory status is fundamental to the long-term future of Bitcoin and the virtual currency industry.”

“I am proud that we are now the most compliant virtual currency exchange in the world; this coveted regulatory status gives our customers, our company and the virtual currency industry as a whole a very positive future outlook,” he added. 

Luxembourg’s finance minister Pierre Gramegna said he was delighted that the Japanese company had chosen Luxembourg as its EU base. 

BitFlyer said that it was initially focusing on professional traders, who are “underserved in Europe.” Andy Bryant, CEO of BitFlyer Europe, noted: “What we bring to Europe is a platform designed by traders for traders.”