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January 23, 2018

Cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer lands in EU

This milestone for bitFlyer could mark a major stride forward toward a future of regulated cryptocurrency, rather than the doom many believe regulation will bring.

By Tom Ball

After gaining a Payment Institution license from the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier, the Luxembourg regulator, bitFlyer has gone live in the EU.

This move marks a stride ahead in the future of cryptocurrency as it stands as a prime example of regulation accommodating cryptocurrency, rather than being the death knell many think it will be for the likes of Bitcoin.

BitFlyer’s near vertical rise has involved milestones including entering the US market last year, another major step in achieving a global reach. This progress has been announced amid a storm of controversy regarding the future of cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer lands in Europe

Commenting on the achievement, Yuzo Kano, CEO, bitFlyer, said: “When I set up bitFlyer in 2014, I did so with global ambitions and the belief that approved regulatory status is fundamental to the long-term future of Bitcoin and the virtual currency industry. I am proud that we are now the most compliant virtual currency exchange in the world; this coveted regulatory status gives our customers, our company and the virtual currency industry as a whole a very positive future outlook.”

The bitFlyer CEO has a background as a trader at Goldman Sachs, an experience that the company points to as a seed for what has made the platform so well suited to being used by traders.

Andy Bryant, Chief Operating Officer of bitFlyer Europe, said: “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.”

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The soaring price of bitcoin in 2017 played a major part in prompting discussion around the regulation of cryptocurrency, with countries including China, Russia, South Korea and Vietnam moving to clamp down on it. Recently the EU watchdog, ESMA, also expressed preparedness to tackle cryptocurrency.

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Kevin Murcko, CEO at cryptocurrency platform CoinMetro, said: “bitFlyer’s embracing of European regulation and licensing is fantastic news for the wider crypto community. It demonstrates that the cryptocurrency market is looking to legitimize itself with a focus on providing safe investment options to a growing client base.”

Not only have nations displayed differing attitudes toward cryptocurrencies, high-profile individuals have also been driving the debate. John McAfee is a prime example of one such figure who is a staunch advocate for cryptocurrency, believing currencies like bitcoin will achieve colossal values. On the other hand, the likes of Warren Buffet have expressed a lack of excitement.

“It is my firm belief that we should be welcoming regulation into the crypto community, rather than rejecting it. Doing so will spur on adoption among mainstream investors and the general public. The crypto community at-large needs to be involved in this and any future regulatory process. If we remain hostile, forcing regulators to regulate without debate and input, the sector will be left with a framework that stifles progress and does little to safeguard investors,” Murcko said.

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