bitFlyer, the Tokyo-based operator of the world’s largest1 Bitcoin exchange, today announced its launch into Europe. Having been granted a Payment Institution (PI) license to operate in the European Union it has become the first Bitcoin exchange to be regulated in Japan, the US and Europe, making it the most compliant virtual currency exchange in the world.
bitFlyer’s launch into Europe comes hot on the heels of explosive growth in Japan and launch in the US in 2017. With 25 percent2 of worldwide bitcoin exchange volumes being facilitated by bitFlyer and over $250bn in virtual currency traded on its platform in 2017, bitFlyer is the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange and the only one licensed in Europe that will allow users to trade with Japan, the world’s largest market for bitcoin trading.
The company is initially targeting professional, high-volume traders, an audience currently underserved in Europe. “What we bring to Europe is a platform designed by traders for traders,” says Andy Bryant, Chief Operating Officer of bitFlyer Europe. “Through our web interface or API, traders can get up and running quickly and benefit from some of the most robust systems, highest speeds and an interface designed with their specific needs in mind.”
Based on the latest volumes3, roughly €10bn is traded worldwide in bitcoin per month, making the Euro the third largest bitcoin market in the world, after JPY and USD. “We’re pleased to see bitFlyer landing in Europe,” says Cedric Jeanson, CEO of BitSpread, one of the world’s largest digital currency market makers. “As virtual currency trading becomes mainstream and institutional investors get involved, there is a gap in Europe for a platform which specifically caters to the professional market.”
Speaking about the importance of today’s announcement, founder and CEO of bitFlyer and ex-Goldman Sachs trader, Yuzo Kano, said, “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.”
bitFlyer was granted its Payment Institution license by the Luxembourg regulator, Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) and from the company’s base at The Luxembourg House of Financial Technology Foundation (The LHoFT), it will market its platform in the European Union. “We’re delighted that one of the most successful Japanese startups chose Luxembourg as their EU platform,” says Pierre Gramegna, the Luxembourg Minister of Finance.
bitFlyer’s initial product offering is the BTC/EUR pair. The company plans to add support for other virtual currencies such as Litecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin Cash later in the year.