Coinbase plans Japan expansion, in talks with MUFG as potential banking partner

Signage is displayed on a monitor as employees work at the Coinbase Inc. office in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. Photographer: Michael Short/Bloomberg

Coinbase Inc., one of the largest U.S. digital-currency exchanges, is expanding into one of the world’s hottest crypto markets.

The San Francisco-based company, which operates in 32 countries, is opening an office in Japan as it seeks to further broaden its influence beyond the U.S. Nao Kitazawa, a former investment banker at Morgan Stanley, will be chief executive officer of the new branch.

“As in other markets, we plan to take a deliberate approach to our roll out in Japan, which means working hand-in-hand with the Japanese FSA to ensure compliance with local laws at every stage,” Coinbase, which has served more than 20 million customers, said in a blog post Monday. “As a regulated, compliant crypto company in the U.S., we will focus on building that same level trust with new customers in Japan.”

The exchange operator, which would need a license to expand into Japan, is in active discussions with Japan’s Financial Services Agency, or FSA, Coinbase spokesman Elliott Suthers said in an email.

If the company does secure a license, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. is a potential banking partner, a person familiar with the matter said earlier this month. MUFG, which has invested in Coinbase, partnered with the crypto firm in 2016 to support its international expansion efforts.

Bloomberg

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.