- bitFlyer, the largest bitcoin exchange in Japan, is launching in the US.
- The firm’s US Chief Operating Officer told Business Insider the expansion will provide new liquidity to the US market, which will entice institutional investors to dive into the virtual currency space.
bitflyer, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in Japan, is expanding into the US.
The company on Tuesday announced the launch of its US platform after running a beta version with 2,000 traders and investors.
bitflyer, which launched in 2014, told Business Insider it has been growing at an explosive clip in Japan, where bitcoin trading has exploded this year. According to CoinDesk’s recently published State of the Blockchain Report, trading between bitcoin and the Japanese yen is higher than trading with any other fiat currency.
Already, bifFlyer has a number of institutional investors trading on its platform in Japan. It says by moving to the US, it will provide massive liquidity to the US markets, thereby enticing institutional investors to jump on the bitcoin bandwagon.
“Our expansion and upcoming cross-border trading addresses a huge unmet need in the US by institutional tradings looking to access large amounts of liquidity across multiple virtual currency markets,” said bifFlyer USA Chief Operating Officer Bartek Ringwelski.
Ringwelski told Business Insider the firm’s trial in the US included a mix of professional traders and institutions. He said a number of firms, ranging from hedge funds to asset managers, have expressed interest using the platform, but declined to name specific firms.
As Business Insider has previously reported, many top trading firms have jumped on the bitcoin bandwagon, including market-makers, DRW and DV Trading. Exchange giants CME and Cboe are set to launch bitcoin futures, which will allow investors to bet on the future price of bitcoin, in the near-term. That could open the door to institutional investors, such as asset managers, entering the market.
“2018 is the year when things start moving with regards to institutions moving into the market and dominating it,” Ringwelski said.