Japan’s top brokers battle for market share in crypto-native exchanges

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Japan’s main brokerages are aiming to negotiate with the country’s digital asset market share crypto-native exchanges.

According to Messari’s report, Japan’s top three online trading companies are witnessing growing sales from their cryptocurrency trading services.

In its Asian Crypto Landscape report, Messari noted the operating revenue and net worth of exchange platforms operated by Japan’s top securities brokers is quickly catching up to that of their crypto-native rivals.

Comparison of net worth and operating revenue between exchanges operated by crypto-native firms versus online securities brokers in Japan, August 2020: Messari

Messari researcher Mira Christanto tweeted that Japan’s three-largest brokers by customer deposits — SBI, Rakuten, and Monex — all operate crypto exchange platforms.

Christanto also noted that several big asset managers are pressuring Japanese policymakers to provide improved cryptocurrency services and goods, such as custody solutions and exchange-traded funds.

“Large asset management funds are lobbying the government to allow custody and ETFs. If they get the green light, the banks are already waiting by the sidelines to get in on the action.”

The study commends Japan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency, or the FSA, for their long-standing support for inclusive crypto legislation and for developing the island nation as a regional center for the digital asset industry.

Messari listed 26 digital currency exchange licenses issued after they were controlled in April 2017. BitFlyer is currently the largest Japanese exchange with over $1 billion in reserves under control and a net valuation of $146 million as of August 2020 according to a report.

In addition, by the end of 2019, Japan’s institutional-grade Liquid Exchange was placed in the top ten list of crypto unicorns—with a value above $1 billion.

The study also identifies a significant number of high-profile mergers and acquisitions that have taken place within Japan’s crypto industry.

The main exchange Coincheck was purchased by the online trading company Monex Group in April 2018. In October 2019, the Financial Instruments Group, a publicly traded provider of financial services, invested in Huobi Japan.


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