Japanese bitcoin exchange operator bitFlyer has announced that it is expanding its reach into Europe, having launched itself into the U.S. market last year.
The Tokyo-based exchange has been awarded a Payment Institution (PI) 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) to operate in the European Union. This makes it the first digital currency exchange to operate in Japan, the U.S., and Europe.
According to an announcement, the move to expand into Europe comes after the company’s growth in Japan and its launch in the U.S. last year.
bitFlyer is the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, handling around a quarter of the globe’s bitcoin exchange volumes, with more than $250 billion worth of bitcoin having been traded in 2017. Interestingly, despite the fluctuating prices surrounding bitcoin at present, this hasn’t done anything to dampen the exchange’s plans of expansion.
bitFlyer will be initially targeting professional, high volume traders with its launch. Andy Bryant, CEO of bitFlyer Europe, explained by saying:
What we bring to Europe is a platform designed by traders for traders. 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.
It’s estimated that the euro is the third largest bitcoin market in the world after the Japanese Yen and the U.S. dollar, with around €10 billion traded worldwide in the digital currency each month.
Cedric Jeanson, CEO of BitSpread, one of the world’s largest digital currency market makers, added:
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.
Pierre Gramegna, the Luxembourg Minister of Finance, was reported as saying:
We’re delighted that one of the most successful Japanese startups chose Luxembourg as their EU platform.
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. As an introductory promotion, bitFlyer will be offering zero percent trading fees until the end of February 2018.