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BitFlyer logo account h.jpg
Founded 2014
Headquarters Tokyo
Key People Yuzo Kano, Founder; Yoshio Hirako, CEO
Products Japanese crypto currency exchange
Twitter @bitFlyer
LinkedIn Profile
Facebook Page
Website bitFlyer Homepage
Blog bitFlyer Blog

Tokyo-based bitFlyer was already one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world when it opened bitFlyer USA in November 2017 after receiving a bitlicense from New York State.[1]


BitFlyer was launched in Japan in April 2014. Although it received a $236,000 investment from U.S. investor Barry Silbert's Bitcoin Opportunity to help support its international expansion shortly after its founding, until 2018 bitFlyer limited its fiat product to Japanese yen and its cryptocurrencies to bitcoin and ether.[2]

BitFlyer claims to have had the largest monthly trading volume recorded between April 2016 and January 2018 in Japan.[3] Its growth was supported when it was one of the first eleven cryptocurrency exchanges to receive a license from the Japanese Financial Services Agency in September 2017. Focusing on professional traders, bitFlyer internationalized its business in November 2017 when it received a New York State Bitlicense and introduced bitcoin/U.S. dollar trading for U.S. residents on its Lightning. In January 2018 bitFlyer announced that it had received a Luxembourg registration that allowed it to do business in the EU where it launched bitcoin/euro trading. BitFlyer claims to be the first cryptocurrency exchange to be licensed to do business in Japan, Europe and the U.S.[4]

On its Japanese marketplaces, bitFlyer allows spot, margined and futures trading. Its margined bitcoin/yen contracts reportedly allow the most creditworthy traders to leverage their positions up to 15 times the amount on deposit.

After bitFlyer's first year of operation, later funding rounds reportedly focused on more than bitFlyer's cryptocurrency exchange. At the completion of its Series C funding round in 2016, which was co-led by SBI Investment, Yuzo Kano, bitFlyer's founder and CEO, said that bitFlyer's banking investors are primarily interested in its blockchain technology work as well as what he described as "various FinTech related resources" that the company has in addition to its digital currency exchange.[5] Crunchbase, an information service that tracks start-ups, reports that bitFlyer has taken in more than $36 million in investor funding.[6]

On August 20, 2018 bitFlyer USA joined Bitstamp, Bittrex, and Gemini to announce the formation of the Virtual Commodity Association Working Group.[7]

In 2019, Yuzo Kano stepped down as CEO. He was replaced by Yoshio Hirako.[8]

BitFlyer Europe announced on September 21, 2020 that it had integrated euro payments with PayPal, which is a dominant operator in the European payments space.[9]

Key People[edit]

  • Yuzo Kano - Founder
  • Yoshio Hirako - CEO