Blog Exchange Investing

Top Crypto Exchanges in Japan


Japan should be commended for the stance it has taken on the burgeoning cryptocurrency sector. In the crypto sector, the Asian country is known for two of the world’s biggest and infamous cryptocurrency exchange hacks – Mt. Gox lost $450 million in February 2014 while Coincheck lost nearly $530 million in January 2018 in separate data breaches. Despite these large-scale hacks, the country has taken a proactive approach to cryptocurrency regulation. This article takes a look at some of the top crypto exchanges in Japan.

Top crypto exchanges in Japan

In the wake of these catastrophic hacks, the country’s financial watchdog the Financial Services Agency (FSA) gave the cryptocurrency industry the right to police itself. The self-governing body, the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) was tasked with the creation and enforcement of the industry’s own rules. The association formulates rules to protect consumers, curb money laundering, and draft operational standards for all crypto exchanges in Japan.

The top crypto exchanges in Japan are among the 17 exchanges approved by the FSA. This article gives you a breakdown of the exchanges but they are in not in any particular order.


Coincheck is an infamous exchange in Japan after it suffered a $530 million hack in 2018. The exchange was acquired by Monex Group a few months later and has managed to restructure itself.

Coincheck announced in January that it has been approved by the FSA to operate in the Asian country. The acquisition helped the exchange to make major improvements that include:

  • Governance
  • Business strategy and organizational structure
  • Customer protection
  • Anti-financial crime measures – terrorism financing and anti-money laundering (AML)

The FSA states that the exchange deals with nine cryptocurrencies – BTC, BCH, ETC, ETH, FCT, LSK, LTC, XEM, and XRP.

The exchange announced in early April that it had launched Over-the-counter (OTC) services that initially supported BTC but has now extended its service offering to ETH and XRP.


Zaif is a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange owned by Tech Bureau, Corp. The exchange, which handles three digital currencies – Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Monacoin (MONA) – was positioned on number 35 on the list of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges by turnover as of September 2018.

The exchange joined the list of hacked of Japanese exchanges in September last year after it lost 6.7 billion Yen (nearly $60 million) through a security breach. Funds lost in the hack belonged to both the exchange and its clients.

Hackers siphoned funds from hot wallets that the exchange used for immediate transactions. The hack caused services to be suspended.

The exchange is easy to use and is intended for all types of investors. Zaif charges low trading fees.


Bitbank was established in 2014 and is considered to be one of Japan’s safest exchanges as it has never been hacked or associated with loss of funds. The exchange uses state of the art security features that include:

  • 2-factor authentication
  • Cold and hot wallets for storage

The exchange is a specialized platform as it offers support for BTC and LTC only. It also supports the Japanese Yen. Bitbank doubles up as a wallet service.

The platform’s fee structure favors traders as it charges for withdrawals only – about 0.0001 BTC or 0.001 LTC.

The exchange pros are:

  • Low fees
  • Easy to use
  • Cold storage
  • Market insights

The cons are:

  • Supports only two digital assets as well as the Japanese Yen


Based in Tokyo, bitFlyer is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world and the biggest in Japan as of June 2018.

With offices in three cities – Tokyo, Luxembourg, and San Francisco – the exchange was established in January 2014 by Yuzo Kano, an alumnus of the U.S. financial giant Goldman Sachs. The exchange temporarily ceased accepting new clients in June 2018 after the FSA sent the platform a business improvement order.

The exchange has also been approved to operate in 42 U.S. states. The exchange focuses on the Japanese market but due to low fees, it has garnered a large number of users from the international community.

bitFlyer offers sports and margin trading and due to its low liquidity, it may not be suitable for inexperienced traders.

The exchange offers the BitFlyer wallet and Trade Class accounts. The platform only supports Dogecoin, Litecoin, Monacoin, and Ripple while Ethereum is only reserved for Trade Class account.

BitFlyer fees vary depending on the actual service being used.

GMO Coin

GMO Coin is a subsidiary of GMO Internet Inc., one of the largest IT companies in Japan. The internet company is highly involved in the crypto sector as it has three cryptocurrency exchanges (including GMO Coin) and several mining facilities.

The exchange was founded in 2016 and is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. The exchange allows users to trade in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP).


BitOcean is a popular cryptocurrency exchange based in Tokyo. The exchange is approved by the FSA and manufactures Bitcoin ATMs.

BitOcean is free for all transactions and supports three languages, namely English, Chinese, and Japanese.  It also works with several fiat currencies including the Japanese Yen.

The exchange was designed to match bank level hardware standards for efficiency and security. Transactions are processed as quickly as 15 seconds.

SBI Virtual Currencies

SBI Virtual Currencies is a subsidiary of the Japanese Strategic Innovator (SBI) Group. The exchange supports Bitcoin, Ripple (XRP), and Ethereum.

Foreign cryptocurrency exchanges

A number of foreign cryptocurrency exchanges allow Japanese residents to buy and sell virtual assets. Some of them are listed below:


Kraken is a U.S. based cryptocurrency exchange founded by Jesse Powell. The exchange was launched in September 2013 although developed had started nearly 2 years earlier. Powell began developing the exchange after visiting Mt. Gox offices in 2011. He claims that he wanted to build something that would fill the gap should Mt. Gox get hacked.

The exchange only supports bank deposits from Japanese customers. It is a trusted exchange with a good reputation in the industry and has good security ratings.

Kraken has deep liquidity and charges low fees.

The exchange has a difficult user-interface which makes it hard for first-time buyers. It is not private as it requires ID verification.


Established in December 2012, Bitfinex is peer-to-peer crypto exchange owned by Hong Kong-based iFinex Inc. The exchange lost customer funds totaling $400,000 in 2015 and $73 million in 2016 through hacks.

The exchange has been involved in controversies and reports have accused Bitfinex of price manipulation that led to Bitcoin’s bull run in late 2017. Bitfinex is also associated with the stablecoin Tether, which has had its fair share of scandals regarding its USD backing of tokens in circulation.

The exchange supports several altcoins and charges low fees for both low and large volume buyers.

Huobi Global

Huobi Global was founded in 2013 in China by Leon Li but moved its headquarters to Singapore. The startup now has offices in Japan, Korea, and the U.S.

The exchange supports a number of cryptocurrencies that include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Cardano, Ethereum Classic, IOTA, DASH, NEO, and more.

Users of the platform can trade over 190 digital asset pairs and access customer service 24/7. The exchange charges competitive fees.

Beginners Guide To Crypto
Subscribe to get your beginners guide and our weekly digest
We respect your privacy.

You may also like

Blog Press Release

Bitmain to reveal world’s first Big Data Analysis Report of Global Mining Farms during World Digital Mining Summit this October


SINGAPORE, 11 September 2019 – Bitmain – the world’s top 10 fabless chipmaker – is set to release the world’s first Big Data Analysis Report of Global Mining Farms during the World Digital Mining Summit (WDMS) on 8-10 October in Frankfurt.

The report will provide in-depth analysis and insights on the cryptocurrency mining industry – covering mining farms, to global electricity costs, site selection of mining farms and construction expenses – to help decision-makers have a more complete and comprehensive understanding of the market opportunities, risks and hurdles.

“Bitmain is proud to be leading research and development efforts in the cryptocurrency mining industry and this comprehensive big data analysis report is a successful outcome of it, thanks to our strength and experience accumulated in this industry,” said Matthew Wang, Director of Mining Farm of Bitmain.

The agenda for the two-day summit features industry investment and innovation for the mining sector….

View More Article
Blockchain Blog Interviews Investing

The Biggest Investing Opportunities In Blockchain | Aly Madhavji Partner BlockchainFF


ChainTalk Podcast 7

Aly Madhavji is Managing Partner at Blockchain Founders Fund. In this chat we discuss his slightly sketchy first experience with crypto, tokens vs equity investing, biggest opportunities right now to invest in, obstacles faced by blockchain companies, working with the United Nations and how blockchain is helping charities and the unbanked, the present and future of blockchain, Asia vs USA in adopting crypto, and the latest news in Asia surrounding crypto including the US China trade wars and recent currency scandal.

Aly Madhavji 穆亚霖 is the Managing Partner at Blockchain Founders Fund which invests in and venture builds top-tier Start-ups and consults companies and governmental organizations on emerging technologies. He is a Senior Investment Advisor to BitBlock Capital and Fiat Capital Fund, and a Co-Founder of a digital currency exchange. He has served on various blockchain advisory roles including Polymath and traditional advisory boards including the University of…

View More Article
Blog Events Press Release



8月6日夜、2019広州天英彙国際革新創業大会東京湾地区の開会式が東京表参道Portal Pointイノベーション空間で行われた。これらは天英彙が初めて日本で設定した競技場だ。広州市天河区政府の関係者たちと日本学習院大学の遠藤薫さんらが本開会式に出席した。



次に、会場からのカウントダウンの声の中、陳加猛、遠藤薫、天英彙海外地区主催側代表者、IBM日本代表者、アリババ クラウド日本代表者と日本人工知能イノベーション企業Autify代表者が共同で天英彙東京湾の横断幕を掲げ、天英彙試合会が日本に正式に始まることを示した。


続いて行われた「広東·香港·マカオ大湾区と東京湾区イノベーション円卓フォーラム」では、 Brincグローバル投資インキュベーター中国市場とチャンネルの責任者の曽君蔚とIBM日本デジタルコンサルティング専門家の吉本久、TMI総合法律事務所の小川周哉と日本人工知能イノベーション企業Autifyの最高経営責任者の近沢良は、イノベーション企業がいかに効率的に新しい市場に参入できるかについて議論を深めた。


今年度は、天英彙海外競技エリアはサンフランシスコ湾、ニューヨーク湾、トロント、シドニー、東京湾、シンガポール、テルアビブ、ベルリン、パリという9大国際イノベーション都市にそれぞれ競技場を置き、少なくとも600以上のグローバルイノベーションプロジェクトを募集する予定だ。今日まで、広州天英彙国際イノベーション創業大会海外競技エリアはすでに八大国外イノベーション都市地区で盛大に開会式を行い、 その中で、米国オークランド市長のシュエリビ、世界最大のインスタントメッセージングソフトウェアWhatsAPP共同創立エンジニアのEugene Fooksman、パリ19区副区長のJoyce Malai、シンガポール国立大学企業センターの副主任の陳正見、欧州華創会会長の黄進などの革新生態分野の重要なのゲストは各競技区の開会式に出席し、天英彙の競技参加者たちに祝福の言葉を贈った。それと同時に、天英彙は国際イノベーション生態の発展を積極的に推進していて、アメリカのオークランド市長のシュエリビと広州市天河区政府の関連責任者を証人として、天英彙競技海外地区主催側Brincグローバル投資インキュベーターはオークランド華埠商会、サンフランシスコ湾委員会とそれぞれ契約を締結し、同天英彙国際イノベーション連盟が第一歩を踏み出したことを示し、今後は更に多くのグローバルイノベーション都市との契約提携を推進し、国際イノベーション生態の発展を進める。

View More Article
Blockchain Blog Interviews Investing

Changing Banking With Blockchain – Tomohiro Yamaguchi Executive Director SBI


ChainTalk Podcast 6

Tomohiro Yamaguchi is Executive Director at SBI Fintech Solutions. In this chat we discuss his background and role at SBI, SBI’s commitment to blockchain technology, their investment into Ripple, cross border transactions within banks and the affect on international business, Libra and bank tokens, blockchain in the Middle East, and opportunities for investors.

Yamaguchi-san is an 18-year experienced pioneer in finance business and payment/international money transfer industry, in charge of new projects, management and development in Japan and overseas Fintech business. In addition, he is representative of global investment, international money transferring, blockchain space. He was in charge of overseas business development (including fund and financing services) for the SBI group. He leads a team of 17 business development directors.

Visit SBI:

Check out last weeks episode on Ripple:

If you enjoyed this episode and want to support our podcast please share it with your colleagues and friends….

View More Article
Blockchain Blog Cryptocurrency Exchange Mining News

Gone Missing: India Misses the Point on Crypto Regulation, Justin Sun Skips Lunch with Warren Buffett


India is taking a step backward in innovation as it proposes to a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies and severe punishment for those caught on the wrong side of the law. Justin Sun’s delayed his charity lunch with bitcoin critic Warren Buffett due to kidney stones. A bank in the Philippines has launched its own cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency exchanges need to beef up their security strategies as new reports suggest that they lost $1.2 billion in theft and fraud in Q1 alone. 

Indian panel proposes cryptocurrency ban and jail time for offenders

India’s hostile position on cryptocurrency does not seem to be taking a turn for the better. A high-level panel created by three institutions – Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and the Reserve Bank of India – has recommended the banning of private cryptocurrencies issued in foreign lands…

View More Article