World’s largest Bitcoin exchange launches in Europe

Luxembourg’s regulator grants Payment Institution licence for Japan’s bitFlyer to operate in EU.

World's largest Bitcoin exchange launches in Europe 01Company to market platform in EU from LHoFT in Luxembourg (Shutterstock)

The world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, bitFlyer, announced its launch into Europe on Tuesday.

The Tokyo-based operator has been granted a Payment Insitution (PI) licence to operate in the European Union – making it the first Bitcoin exchange to be regulated in Japan, the US and Europe.

The PI licence was granted by Luxembourg’s financial watchdog, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), and the company will be based at the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology Foundation (LHoFT).

Luxembourg’s finance minister, Pierre Gramegna, said he was delighted that “one of the most successful Japanese startups chose Luxembourg as their EU platform”.

World's largest Bitcoin exchange launches in Europe 02bitFlyer CEO, Yuzo Kano, with Luxembourg Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna

Around 25% of worldwide exchange currency in bitcoin volumes are being facilitated by bitFlyer, and more than $250 billion (€204 billion) in virtual currency was traded on its platform in 2017, according to a statement by the operator.

Andy Bryant, COO at bitFlyer Europe, said the company was bringing a “platform designed by traders for traders” to Europe.

Yuzo Kano, founder and chief executive of bitFlyer and former Goldman Sachs trader, said he set up bitFlyer in 2014 with “global ambitions and the belief that approved regulatory status is fundamental to the long-term future of Bitcoin and the virtual currency industry”. Learn more from about trading tools.

BitFlyer’s initial product offering is the BTC/EUR pair, and the company is planning to add support for other virtual currencies including Litecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin Cash later in the year.

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