BitFlyer, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, announced on Tuesday that it will be extending its services to the US. The Japanese business said it was granted permission to operate in 41 states as well as a „BitLicense” which lets BitFlyer conduct its business in New York. Coinbase, Circle, and Ripple are the three other exchanges with this license, which is granted by New York’s Department of Financial Services.
The company launched in 2014 and it hit the ground running in Japan, amassing a total of $36 million in venture funding. Japan’s government recognized bitcoin as a legal form of payment which allowed the cryptocurrency to thrive. According to interactive currency platform, CryptoCompare, bitcoin trading volume in Japanese yen makes for over 60 percent of global trading volume in cryptocurrency.
At launch, bitFlyer will support bitcoin/USD pairs but has stated that it will expand into other cryptocurrencies including Litecoin, Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin Cash to name a few.
2017 was a victory for bitcoin, as the digital currency smashed record after record sitting on a value of $9,929.61 as of Tuesday. The sudden spike was met by too many interested parties and few places to trade the cryptocurrency. In the United States, there are only two notable digital currency exchanges these being Gemini and Coinbase.
The leading US platform for buying and selling bitcoin, Coinbase, operates in 48 states including Washington D.C. It has raised $217.2 million in total and has investors such as the New York Stock Exchange, Union Square Ventures, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and Google Ventures founder, Bill Maris, among others.
„Bitcoin in 2018 transitions from something that is viewed as a social phenomenon and very quickly transitions into an established institutional phenomenon,” said bitFlyer’s US COO, Bartek Ringwelski. „As regulation increases in the space people are going to feel more and more comfortable about bitcoin.”
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