Coinbase Suspends Business in Japan


Coinbase has put its Japanese operations on hold as the cryptocurrency industry continues to struggle.

“Due to market conditions, our company has made the difficult decision to halt operations in Japan and to conduct a complete review of our business in the country,” the crypto exchange said on its blog Wednesday (Jan. 18).

The move follows Coinbase’s announcement last week that it was cutting 20% of its staff, and comes during a period of troubles for the broader crypto industry that have included allegations of fraud, market downturns, job cuts and heightened scrutiny from regulators.

In its blog post, Coinbase said it had “segregated the Japanese Yen and crypto assets of our customers in custody in compliance with the regulations” and was committing to making sure customers can withdraw assets as soon as they wish.

The company says fiat deposit functionality for Coinbase Japan will be removed on Jan. 20, and customers will have until Feb. 16 to withdraw their fiat and crypto holdings.

Last week’s layoffs at Coinbase, which impacted 950 of the firm’s 4,700 workers, marked the third time the exchange had cut staff since June 2022.

“As we examined our 2023 scenarios, it became clear that we would need to reduce expenses to increase our chances of doing well in every scenario,” said CEO Brian Armstrong. “While it is always painful to part ways with our fellow colleagues, there was no way to reduce our expenses significantly enough, without considering changes to headcount.”

Coinbase laid off 18% of its workforce in June of last year and cut another 60 jobs in November. Armstrong noted the past reductions in a message to employees last week, saying that “in hindsight, we could have cut further at that time.”

So far this year, the crypto industry has been off to a “choppy start,” PYMNTS wrote recently, with millions losing money, and thousands of people out of jobs.

In addition to the layoffs at Coinbase, last week saw reduce its global workforce by 20% and let go of 28% of its staff.

As PYMNTS noted,’s troubles predate the collapse of FTX last year, as the company had reduced its staff by 30% to 40% following a major market downturn that shook the entire industry, forcing many exchanges to cut back on expenditures.