Bitflyer is a Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange founded by former Goldman Sachs trader Yuzo Kano.
The exchange operates in Japan, EU and the US. It initially sought to fill a void in the market after the collapse of Mt. Gox, a major exchange that was also based in Japan.
In July 2014 Kano raised $1.6 million in funding for the exchange and in October of the same year it raised a further $236,000 from SecondMarket and Digital Currency Group founder Barry Silbert. In September 2014, Bitflyer partnered with GMO Payment Gateway to provide e-commerce merchants with the ability to accept bitcoin. That same month the exchange launched a bitcoin crowdfunding platform called fundFlyer.
Bitflyer concluded a third round of funding in January 2015 which amounted to $1.1 million. Silbert led the round, which also saw participation from Japanese investors who had not previously invested in the crypto industry such as GMO Venture Partners, the venture capital arm of GMO Payment Gateway. In August 2015, Bitflyer raised a further $4 million from venture firms including Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Venture Labo Investment Co. and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Venture Capital Co., among others.
In November 2017, Bitflyer launched a bitcoin exchange for the US market after receiving regulatory approval. It subsequently opened an exchange in the EU in January 2018.
In 2018, Bitflyer suspended users’ ability to open domestic accounts after it received an operational improvement order from Japanese financial regulator Financial Services Agency (FSA) related to its know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering prevention processes. The exchange lifted the suspension in July 2019.