The partnership with MUFG, Japan’s biggest bank, will allow the exchange to expand operations in the country and provide crypto exchange services to the bank’s vast pre-existing client base.
Strategic Partnership Between Giants
Now Japanese account holders at the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) will be able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies through the largest US crypto exchange. Regulatory approval to conduct operations in Japan was granted to Coinbase by the country’s regulatory watchdog, FSA (Financial Services Agency), back in June 2021. As a result, Coinbase Japan will be integrating MUFG as a payment partner, in addition to the bank being an investor in Coinbase Global. The Head of Coinbase Japan, Nao Kitazawa, spoke on the matter, saying,
“We aim to reach out to a wide range of customers by offering low-hurdle services,”
Initially, the exchange will be allowing trading in five digital coins: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Stellar.
New Coinbase Expansion
The partnership with MUFG is an exclusive deal, which excludes account holders at other banks from trading on Coinbase. The deal will enable Coinbase to access a sizeable customer base, an advantage in a market full of local competition from companies like Coincheck, GMO Coin, and more. Coinbase said its partnership with the bank was a bid to become the country’s “most trusted exchange” that is “fully compliant.”
Coinbase Navigates Japanese Regulations
Crypto regulations in Japan have increased ever since the fallout of multiple exchange hacks in the country in the last few years. The FSA and the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association have tightened the self-regulatory rules in intensity, scope, and scrutiny, which led to rising costs of formal approval processes. As a result, several crypto exchanges, like Kraken, have even left the country due to expensive red tape procedures.
However, Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. So when it went public through a direct listing in April, its valuation rose to as high as $112 billion on the first day of trading. In the months following that, Coinbase Global has successfully amassed a $4 billion cash backup to help them weather through regulatory turmoil.
In Other News
Leading software company Intel has recently disclosed a roughly quarter-million-dollar stake in Coinbase Global. According to the regulatory information reporting, as of June 30, Intel holds about 3014 shares of Coinbase’s Class A common stock, worth approximately $747,472, based on a trading price of $248/share at the time of writing.