The cryptocurrency exchange Kraken sent an email on April 17 to its Japan-based clients informing them that, starting on a yet-to-be-announced date in June, residents of the country will no longer be allowed to trade digital assets on the platform. Deposits by users who live in Japan will be disabled shortly before that date, and withdrawals shortly thereafter.
While the announcement notes that the suspension of service may not be permanent, it offers no indication as to when the marketplace might again make itself available to customers who reside in the country.
The email, which was reviewed by ETHNews, states that:
"At the present time, it is impractical to continue service for Japan residents. The decision involved careful consideration of revenue against the costs and resources required to maintain service … Suspending services for Japan residents will allow us to better focus on our resources to improve in other geographical areas."
The message does not offer any insight into what these "costs and resources" might be.
In the wake of a January heist to the tune of more than $500 million from the exchange Coincheck, Japan's financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), stepped up efforts to ensure that exchanges operate in compliance with the country's laws.
In April, it ordered two virtual currency marketplaces to suspend operations and issued a "business improvement order" to another. The previous month, it had warned Binance, another exchange, that it had been operating in the country without FSA approval.