Bitcoin

CoinBase, a global online platform for buying, selling, transferring, and storing bitcoin, has announced its partnership with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU).

As part of a strategic partnership involving its long-term expansion, the bitcoin exchange provider received a US$10.5 million investment from BTMU, the bank’s Mitsubishi UFJ Capital unit (MUCAP) and Sozo Ventures.

While the world’s largest bitcoin company is operating in 32 countries, CoinBase does not offer digital currency exchange services in Japan yet and currently runs an exchange in Singapore. The partnership is part of CoinBase’s effort for international expansion.

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The move to enter the Japanese market would make it the second Asian market served by the firm, and the company would need regulatory approval from the country’s Financial Services Agency to do business in Japan. According to Sam Rosenblum, international expansion and banking lead at CoinBase, no timetable is set with regard to when CoinBase would launch operations in Japan.

“BTMU will be a strong partner for us both in Asia and globally. Japan will certainly be an important market for us and one that is pretty critical for the development of digital currencies,” Rosenblum said in an interview with Reuters.

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In statements, CoinBase said that the partnership will help it bridge the gap between blockchains and the traditional financial industry: “Partnering with leading global financial institutions is a key part of our strategy and we are thrilled to be working with BTMU.”

Founded in 2012, San Francisco-based CoinBase currently raised a total funding of US$116.7 million. The company offers a number of financial services for individuals and businesses, and currently, has 4.1 million users with over six million consumer wallets. Last September, Coinbase made its debut in the Asian market with its Singapore launch.