U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase will close most programs in Japan, leaving only a security team to protect customers’ assets.
According to the official announcement of Nana Murugesan, the company’s vice president of business and international development, Coinbase’s decision to cut its operations in Japan is related to global layoffs. Recently, Coinbase reported cutting 20% of the workforce, or 950 employees worldwide. At that time, the CEO of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong, didn’t explicitly say which projects are to be closed as well. The closure of projects in Japan is the first official proof of his words.
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Nana Murugesan said in an interview: “We’ve decided to wind down the majority of our operations in Japan, which led to eliminating most of the roles in our Japan entity.” Asked whether the business in Japan will be sold, Nana declined to comment on Coinbase’s possible merger or acquisition.
Coinbase is ceasing most of its operations after receiving a license from the Japanese financial regulator, Financial Services Agency (FSA), in June 2021. At the time, Coinbase was the first Western company to receive such a license. According to the FSA, Coinbase offered trading in BTC, LTC, ETH and XLM to Japanese clients.
This is not the first time the company is taking a step back. Coinbase has encountered challenges in its pursuit of worldwide expansion. A proposed acquisition of Brazilian crypto brokerage firm 2TM Participacoes SA fell through last year. Additionally, Coinbase suspended its cryptocurrency purchasing service in India due to pressure from the nation’s central bank.
Despite these setbacks, the company, as stated by Murugesan, remains steadfast in its commitment to global expansion and views the developments in Japan as a means of aligning its investments with local market opportunities. The organization is willing to make difficult decisions to ensure its investments are in line with local market potential.
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