Former BitFlyer CEO Plans to Return to Take Company Public (Report)
Yuzo Kano – Co-Founder of Japan’s leading cryptocurrency platform BitFlyer – reportedly seeks to spearhead the firm as a CEO again after stepping down in 2019.
He also wants to terminate the tension between the current management team and shareholders and steer the entity to an initial public offering (IPO).
A Possible Comeback After Four Years
As reported by Bloomberg, the 47-year-old Japanese entrepreneur wants to serve as the CEO of BitFlyer once again to establish it as a global industry player:
“I will make it capable of fighting on the international stage.”
Kano, who was chief executive until 2019, vowed to present a proposal next month with certain goals that the company should follow. Those include ending the feud between the management division and shareholders and listing BitFlyer’s shares for public trading.
Japan’s crypto exchange had to overcome serious regulatory issues with the domestic watchdogs in 2018. Back then, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) ordered BitFlyer and many rivals to impose stricter anti-money laundering procedures. Kano stepped down as a CEO shortly after.
Numerous individuals have sought to lead the firm since then, but with no significant success. Some resigned after Kano criticized them for being BitFlyer’s single-largest individual shareholder.
“It’s my responsibility to point out issues and demand improvement. I reprimand people when they cause problems, make false reports or fail to do whatever they are supposed to do,” he said.
Despite the turmoil, the Tokyo-based BitFlyer has amassed over 2.5 million users worldwide. It also has offices in San Francisco and Luxembourg.
Japan Warming up to Crypto
The Land of the Rising Sun has recently changed its rather strict stance on the cryptocurrency industry under the rule of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. He presented himself as a proponent of blockchain technology and Web3 and promised to enforce relaxed laws.
As a result, Binance – the largest cryptocurrency platform – sought a permit in September 2022 to re-enter the local ecosystem. It doubled down on its intentions by purchasing the Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC).
On the other hand, Binance’s rivals, including Kraken and Coinbase, announced plans to shut operations in Japan, citing adverse macroeconomic conditions and a weak global crypto market.
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I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.