Japan-based bitcoin exchange operator bitFlyer has set up shop in Europe, having already expanded to the U.S last year.
The exchange announced yesterday that it had received a payment institution (PI) license to operate its services in the European Union and is initially seeking to attract professional, high-volume traders – a sector it sees as underserved in the EU.
In an announcement, Andy Bryant, COO of the new European branch of the exchange, said:
BitFlyer is currently the sixth largest exchange by bitcoin trading volume (BTC/JPY), according to data from CoinMarketCap. Further, it claims to be the first bitcoin exchange to be regulated in Japan, the U.S. and, now, Europe.
The payment institution license was granted by Luxembourg regulator, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), and the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology Foundation (LHoFT).
Luxembourg's Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna was quoted as saying, "We're delighted that one of the most successful Japanese startups chose Luxembourg as their EU platform."
Kicking off with just the BTC/EUR trading pair, bitFlyer indicated it is also planning to add more cryptocurrency options, including litecoin, ethereum, ethereum classic and bitcoin cash, later this year. To bring in new EU-based customers, the branch has rolled out zero percent trading fees as an introductory offer until the end of February.
BitFlyer launched officially in the U.S. last November, after receiving approval from regulators including the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in bitFlyer.
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