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Coinbase partners with MUFG to launch crypto exchange in Japan

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Leading US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has today announced a partnership with Japanese banking giant Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFG) to launch an exchange in Tokyo.

The partnership with MUFG, which has more than 40 million customers, will make it easier for Japanese residents to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. According to the announcement, the platform will offer quick access to digital assets and allow users to begin trading using “MUFG Quick Deposit” from day one.

Coinbase previously got regulatory approval earlier this year to operate in Japan, where 31 companies are currently registered to trade cryptocurrencies.

Coinbase’s ambition with the platform is to continue its commitments towards its global strategy and increase the use of crypto in Japan by “bringing a best-in-class product” to Japanese customers.

Coinbase will initially be launching an array of retail products including a selection of five top assets based on trading volume. The assets that will accompany the initial launch are understood to be Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Stellar, although this hasn’t been confirmed by Coinbase.

Nao Kitazawa, head of Coinbase Japan, outlined the initial launch of the platform which is seemingly focused on providing an array of products that will reach the widest customer base possible.

“We aim to reach out to a wide range of customers by offering low-hurdle services,” he said.

More assets and products will then be added in the coming months, alongside plans to introduce more localised versions of popular Coinbase services such as advanced trading and Coinbase for Institutions.

In news that coincides with the partnership, a rival Japanese exchange to Coinbase, Liquid Global, today announced a hack that totals an approximate $84m in losses from its active hot wallets.

The wallets used by the perpetrator indicate that $69 million ETH and $4.8 million BTC was stolen, alongside a further $10 million worth of XRP and TRX.

International focus

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong recently outlined Coinbase’s plans to adopt a more “global approach” to crypto by launching products that work globally. The move is also being implemented to increase the “number of people who have access” to Coinbase products and further their mission of “increasing economic freedom in the world”.

Armstrong also outlined an international-first mindset, where Coinbase will continue to work with regulators in established markets like the US, UK and EU while launching more international products.

Coinbase has also announced stellar Q2 results that far exceeded the expectations of many analysts. The exchange continues to show increased year-on-year profitability, announcing net profits of $1.6 billion that indicate a 4,900% rise from 2020.

The results saw the price of COIN – Coinbase’s Nasdaq-listed stock token – jump six per cent and Coinbase disclose that Elon Musk, Tesla, and SpaceX were listed as Coinbase clients and used it to purchase their Bitcoin holdings. Additionally, 10% of the largest 100 hedge funds are said to be clients.

Additionally, Coinbase is expanding its global services further through a recent integration of Apple Pay services that will allow Apple users to buy cryptocurrencies with a linked Visa or Mastercard debit card.