Popular digital currency exchange Kraken has announced it is closing its Japan branch this month and laying off all its employees in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Kraken Is Stepping Away from Japan
The Japanese division of Kraken is called Payward Asia. In a recent blog post, the company mentioned that it’s going to be ceasing all its crypto trading services as of January 31, 2023. This will mark the second time Kraken has left the Japanese market, the first taking place in 2018. Up to that point, the company had been desperately trying to set up operations there for the past four years to no avail.
However, two years later in 2020, it made a successful attempt to establish a presence in the region after it was able to complete the necessary registration process with regulators.
The move is just another chalk on the ever-growing board of crypto casualties over the past several months. 2022 has been a very bad year for the digital currency industry, and while we’re only in the first month of 2023, it doesn’t look like this new era is bringing much recovery just yet. So many companies have fallen to the bearish conditions of the crypto space over the past 12 months, and analysts have no way of predicting what will happen before the year is out.
The news follows a long series of odd reports stemming from the Kraken exchange, a big one arriving in October of last year. It was announced during that time that Kraken’s CEO Jesse Powell was leaving his post following repeated allegations of semi-abusive behavior towards workers. From there, the exchange mentioned that it was going to be ceasing all relations with Russian customers, and that all traders in that region would no longer gain access to the company’s services or products.
This news was shocking given that several months prior, the exchange stated that it would not comply with present sanctions delivered by the present U.S. administration against Russia and that it would allow the country’s people to maintain their accounts and continue trading.
Kraken is also not the first company to announce layoffs following the start of the crypto bear market. Other big names in the “layoff department” include fellow crypto exchanges Gemini in New York (run by the Winklevoss Twins) and Coinbase in San Francisco, CA.
So Many Layoffs Over the Past Year
Gemini wound up releasing as much as ten percent of its staff from employment. The company took flak when it was revealed that many of those who would be out of a job were informed via Zoom calls rather than in-person.
For Coinbase, things were even more devastating as the company ended up releasing approximately 18 percent of its staff following the announcement of huge hiring plans.
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