Bitcoin Exchanges in Japan
A Japan Bitcoin exchange has to get regulatory approvals before starting any operations.
Due to stringent regulatory checks, the number of exchanges in Japan is considerably less than in countries like the USA and the UK. This article explores the best Bitcoin exchanges in Japan. We focus on the features and fees, and we explain how investors can get started purchasing Bitcoins.
Here’s our list of top Bitcoin exchanges in Japan
There are currently 31 Bitcoin exchanges in Japan. We have examined a variety of factors and come up with the top Bitcoin exchanges in Japan.
What should I look for in Bitcoin exchanges in Japan?
Both beginners and expert Bitcoin investors have to weigh various factors. The right balance has to be achieved before settling on a specific exchange. Japanese citizens should consider the following before choosing an exchange.
Security: Asset security, personal data, and funds in an exchange are the top priority for many Bitcoin investors in Japan. This is partly due to several high-profile hacks in Japan. A prime example is the Mt Gox hack, an exchange that was based in Tokyo. A lot of Bitcoins were lost because the exchange was handling about 70% of Bitcoins transactions globally. Currently, all top exchanges have domains with an SSL certificate. Users should read the fine print on exchanges to understand whether any losses via security breaches are insured and refundable.A secure exchange has to tick the following boxes:
Two-factor Authentication (2FA) for clients
Cold storage – offline storage of Bitcoins
Multi-level verification for withdrawals
Operating with a valid SSL certificate
Reputation: Before opening an account on a crypto exchange, do some research on its reputation. Investors can do this by checking third-party review websites such as Trustpilot. Poor ratings show that services on an exchange may not be satisfactory. Reputation also heavily banks on security. Exchanges that have had previous incidences of security breaches are less reputable. An online search can be done by searching “ABC cryptocurrency exchange reviews.”
Payment & withdrawal methods accepted: Bitcoin investors in Japan should deposit funds in JPY (Japanese Yen). Users should fund their exchange accounts through bank transfers, cryptocurrencies, credit and debit cards. Transferring payment can be in the form of Pay-easy (enabled for many banks), quick deposit, bank transfer deposit, or convenience store deposits.Exchanges should provide bitcoin investors functionality to withdraw their investment in JPY or cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash.
Insurance: Some exchanges offer insurance of deposits and crypto-assets. The surety that funds are protected is a significant consideration for all investors. However, we advise that Bitcoin investors store their Bitcoin away from exchanges even when planning to HODL their assets long-term.
Exchange rate: Rates give the value of Bitcoin in JPY. They represent the value of your investment. Good exchanges will offer tight spreads meaning that investors will not lose much of their capital. Depending on the business model, some exchanges may offer fixed spreads. Users should conduct research exchanges that offer the best exchange rates to maximise their investment.
Fees: Some of the fees Bitcoin exchanges in Japan charge are:
Deposit feeswithdrawal fees
Maker and taker fees.
Other fees may also be charged when users are setting up a wallet. Most exchanges in Japan do not charge any deposit fees for fiat or cryptocurrency except for card payments. Investors should expect withdrawal fees. Exchanges make margins from trade fees, where a percentage of your investment is deducted. This may be in the form of a fixed value or a percentage. Trade fees also largely depend on the volume of trade which can be weighed over a month. Investors who deal with higher volumes will get better fees. Other fees include maker and taker fees which revolve around how a Bitcoin order is fulfilled. Bitcoin investors can look out for discounts. Some exchanges offer incentives upon signup, which can save money. Exchanges that offer nominal fees suggest that Bitcoin traders can sustain their investments even when dealing with smaller trades. To get the fee schedule for exchange ABC, search “ABC fee schedule” online.
Design, user experience, and ease of use: For exchanges, simplicity is vital. Top exchanges in Japan have streamlined their processes, making it easy to navigate and use the system. Exchanges with feature overload usually suffer in this respect. Many beginners stay away from such exchanges. Some exchanges have native tokens, which they use to incentivise usage of their exchanges. These tokens can be used to get discounts or exchanged for another asset, enhancing user experience.
KYC process: Crypto exchanges in Japan have to adhere to FSA (Financial Services Agency) guidelines strictly. Exchanges, therefore, have to follow Anti Money laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing Of Terrorism (CFT) obligations and verify all users. Some exchanges have streamlined the KYC verification process, completing the process within the same day, e.g., BTCBOX.
Withdrawal limits: Investors have to contend with daily and weekly withdrawal limits. Investors dealing with larger withdrawals have first to check the limits before sign up. Remember that withdrawals are subjected to fees that will be deducted from your investment.
Customer service: Proper and excellent customer support is important to Japanese culture. The top exchanges in Japan provide support via email and phone, and some provide live chat support. Reviews from trusted websites will also give investors an indication of how friendly the customer support team is.
Liquidity: Japanese Bitcoin investors are among those who trade Bitcoin globally. Liquidity is, therefore, a critical aspect to them. Traders require liquidity so that orders are fulfilled quickly before the market moves too much. Trading volumes are promoted when many users utilise the exchange or the availability of a large number of crypto assets. If there are only a few orders on an exchange, buying and liquidating Bitcoins will be challenging. Bitbank is the leading crypto exchange by transaction volume in Japan.
What exchanges are available to trade Bitcoin in Japan?
There are fewer crypto exchanges in Japan than in other countries. Some of the popular ones include:
BitFlyer is one of the largest crypto exchanges in Japan. It offers only a limited number of cryptocurrencies. It is also licenced across the EU and USA and provides an opportunity for cross-trading. The platform offers free Bitcoin trading.
Bitcoin transactions attract a fee of 0.004 BTC.
There are also deposit and withdrawal charges depending on which method the investor uses. Deposit fees start from free to 330 JPY.
Withdrawals start from 220 JPY to 770 JPY, depending on the method used and the amount withdrawn.
Margin and futures trading – available on the Bitflyer lightning platform.
Simple and intuitive user interface.
A highly secured platform meeting the Platinum security standards.
Complaint to FSA regulations
Offers corporate accounts
Very low fees at 0.15% for small trades (less than 100,000JPY) and even lower for larger trading volumes.
Intuitive user design, friendly to both beginners and pro traders.
Highly liquid, meaning quick order fulfillment and favourable market rates.
Extra perks for VIP traders, like trading without limits
More advanced functionality for pro traders like BitFlyer lightning, with faster trade execution times and high-level asset security.
Privacy exposure due to mandatory submission of KYC details for those who trade higher volumes.
A limited selection of cryptocurrencies (13 in total.)
Limited account funding options.
BitFlyer offers a combination of simple features to start their Bitcoin investment journey and complex trading instruments like futures and margins for expert traders. The platform ranks highly in terms of Bitcoin trading volume, not only in Japan but globally. Bitcoin investors can start with small amounts.
Huobi Japan is a subsidiary of Huobi Global, a crypto exchange with a presence in 170 countries globally. It allows trading crypto-assets and is ranked as first in the number of stock pairs handled in Japan. Investors can start purchasing Bitcoin on the exchange with as little as 2 JPY.
Deposit fees depend on the method and amount deposited..
Quick deposit method is free.
Easy and convenient store deposits attract a deposit fee of between 695 JPY to 1005 JPY depending on the amount deposited.
Users can withdraw their crypto assets in Yens or cryptocurrency with 0.0005 BTC charges for Bitcoin withdrawals.
Advanced trading tools and charts
Avails Fobi Japan, a platform for Crypto asset trading
Compliant to the FSA.
High levels of liquidity
A healthy selection of cryptocurrency is available for selection.
A multilayered approach to security for personal accounts and assets on the exchange.
Offers Bitcoin traders the ability to set up a variety of order types, including limit and market orders.
Good customer service
Leverage trading available
Charges applicable to some depositing methods.
Higher fees compared to other exchanges in Japan.
Huobi Japan offers users advanced trading options with a better selection of crypto assets, unlike BitFlyer. The exchange is compliant with the FSA and maintains a high level of security that matches the government’s requirements.
BTCBOX boasts being a crypto exchange with the longest Bitcoin order booking trading. The FSA has certified the platform, which has gone without a security breach for 7 years straight. It is also a member of the Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association (JCBA).
0.001 BTC Withdrawal fees
0.05% taker and 0.05% maker fees for Bitcoin order book trade
Free for Bitcoin easy trade
Deposit via bank transfer, Sumishin SBI Net Bank, and AEON bank Direct Deposit are all free.
Investors pay 1000 JPY for convenience stores and Pay easy deposits.
High standards of security
Strict asset management with most coins stored in offline wallets.
Available margin trading
Compliance to FSA and a member of JCBA.
Responsive customer support with chat and phone options.
High trading volume with an excellent matching engine that ensures high liquidity.
Complete ID verification within the same day.
Limited cryptocurrency selections with only 4 crypto assets available.
Investors on BTCBOX can start with an investment as small as 0.001BTC. The fees are comparable to BitFlyer. Trust levels for BTCBOX are high, competing favourably with BitFlyer and Huobi Japan.
Coincheck boasts of being one of the largest crypto exchanges in Asia. Despite a hack on the platform in January 2018, the exchange has reinvented itself and put in place industry-level security standards.
No limit or fees on bank transfers
Convenience store payment limit of below 29,999 JPY carries a 770 JPY fee.
Payment between 30,000-300,000 JPY carries a 1018 JPY fee.
Quick deposit payment below 29,999 carries a 770 JPY fee.
Quick deposit payment between 30,000-499,999 carries a fee of 1018 JPY.
Quick deposit payment above 500,000 carries a fee that is the amount deposited x 0.11% + 495 JPY
No limit or fees of Cryptocurrency deposits.
No limit to withdrawal, but a 407 JPY fee.
A tradeview designed for professional traders
Block trade feature available for large transactions
Regulated by FSA
Crypto lending and earning
Coincheck Denki feature allows Bitcoin owners to pay their power bills.
Coincheck Gas allowing Bitcoin owners to pay for gas
Coincheck provides a wallet app
Allows investors to buy Bitcoin credit cards
A strong selection of cryptocurrencies
No transaction fees
Poor reputation due to hacking incident in 2018
Exchange does not offer live chat support
Coincheck is not only an exchange but offers Bitcoin owners various other services which are convenient for investors. Bitcoin owners who look to hold the asset over the long term can lend it to the exchange and expect some interest on top. BitBank similarly offers the crypto lending and interest feature. Coincheck can strive for better customer support to compete effectively with Huobi Japan and BTCBOX.
Bitbank concentrates on a small pool of 11 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. Bitbank prides itself in currently handling the largest trading volume in Japan. Traders can get their orders fulfilled quickly, even during highly volatile periods.
0.02% maker and 0.12% taker fees
JPY deposit fees are free, JPY withdrawal fees are 550 yen or 770 yen for 30,000 yen or more.
Bitcoin deposit fees are free, withdrawal fees are 0.0006 BTC.
Simple, highly functional, easy to use design
Highly secure with offline coin storage and multi-sig protection
Easy to use mobile application
Regulated by the FSA
Same day identity verification even with a mobile phone
A lend and increase service where Bitcoin holders can lend the platform their coins and earn an interest.
Highly trusted and is a key member of Japanese cryptocurrency institutions (including Blockchain Promotion Association and Japan Cryptocurrency Trading Association)
Provides market insights and data models from a prediction algorithm for investors
Deposits and withdrawals in foreign currencies are not supported
A limited selection of cryptocurrencies are available on the platform.
Limited customer support options
Unlike a majority of exchanges we have featured, Bitbank does not charge any sort of deposit fees. Maker and taker fees are also within the Japanese industry standards.
How to get started with Bitcoin exchange in Japan
The FSA regulates any Japan Bitcoin exchange. It requires strict adherence to AML, KYC, and CFT guidelines during account opening.
Here are the prerequisites before getting started.
Age of at least 20 years
Have proper ID documentation such as passport, driver’s licence, residence card, or a national ID card.
A computer or smartphone connected to the internet
Here are the steps to opening an account and buying Bitcoins:
Opening an account on a suitable exchange: Requires you to enter your email/mobile number and your password.
Verification via email or mobile phone: Follow the instructions sent by email or use the SMS code provided for account confirmation.
KYC information and verification: Investors will have to enter their legal names, occupations, source of funds, and upload their identity documents, etc. The exchange will perform identity verification and approve the account. Note that if there are any discrepancies in the information provided, account opening may be denied.
Link a payment option: Connect your account with a way to deposit funds. This can be via bank transfer, credit cards, or cryptocurrency.
The first transaction: On the exchange tradeview, select Bitcoin and enter the amount you wish to spend. The number of Bitcoins, the fees, and other details will be shown.
Finalise the purchase: If you are happy with everything, sanction the transaction. We recommend transferring your Bitcoin to a Bitcoin wallet for safe custody.
What are the options I have to buy and sell Bitcoin in Japan?
There are a variety of trading instruments but investors can use crypto exchanges, brokerage firms, and Contract for Differences (CFDs) trading platforms. Brokerages typically manage the buying and selling of Bitcoin on your behalf. They act as intermediaries between the selling party (a market such as an exchange) and the buying party(investors). They also allow users to trade in a wide range of assets, EFTs, and CFDs.
Popular brokers like eToro and Robinhood are not available in Japan. Traders have to use exchanges like Huobi Japan and DMM Bitcoin.
CFD trading platforms allow Bitcoin investors to speculate on the future value of Bitcoin without owning it. Investors can go “long” when they believe Bitcoin will rise in value or go “short” when they speculate that the prices will fall. CFDs can be leveraged, meaning that your stake’s value is multiplied, which magnifies your profits or losses.
CFD trading platforms are not prevalent in Japan. Interested investors can signup on foreign platforms like eToro. Traders should note that trading using CFD platforms and brokers is a high-risk venture. It may lead to capital loss or exposure of personal data.
Do I have to pay tax when selling Bitcoin for profit in Japan?
Japan, through the FSA, has set up a legal framework that regulates cryptocurrencies. The law recognizes Bitcoin as an asset. Profits from the sale of Bitcoin are categorised as miscellaneous income and are taxable.
The Japanese crypto industry has highly specialised exchanges. Most of the exchanges do not host hundreds of crypto assets but rather a few major cryptocurrencies.
The FSA is tasked with the approval of all exchanges that operate in Japan. The approved number of exchanges stands at 31, although many more are under review. Japan has some homegrown exchanges with massive asset bases. BitFlyer and BitBank are some of the top Japan Bitcoin exchanges.