The world's largest bitcoin exchange by trading volume is launching in the U.S.
BitFlyer, based in Tokyo, announced Tuesday it became the fourth digital currency exchange to receive a "BitLicense" to operate in New York. The exchange said it also has licenses to operate in 40 other states.
Coinbase, Circle and Ripple are the three other exchanges with a "BitLicense," which is granted by New York's Department of Financial Services.
Bitcoin trading volume in Japanese yen regularly accounts for 60 percent or more of global trading volume in the digital currency, according to CryptoCompare. BitFlyer has nearly 80 percent of that bitcoin-yen trading volume, the site shows. In contrast to some governments' more heavy-handed approach, the Japanese government has recognized bitcoin as a legal form of payment and licensed several exchanges.
The digital currency has multiplied more than 10 times in price this year to a record high of $9,929.61 on Tuesday, according to CoinDesk.
"Bitcoin in 2018 transitions from something that is viewed as a social phenomenon and very quickly transitions into an established institutional phenomenon," Bartek Ringwelski, bitFlyer's U.S. COO, told CNBC in a phone interview. "As regulation increases in the space people are going to feel more and more comfortable about bitcoin."
Trading platform screenshot