Yuzo Kano, co-founder and former chief executive officer (CEO) of Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer Inc., said he plans to return as CEO and steer the company towards an initial public share sale to resolve management conflicts, Bloomberg reported Monday. 

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Fast facts

  • The former CEO said making bitFlyer a publicly traded company is the “best option” to resolve conflicts, Bloomberg reported. He said he will make the proposal at the next shareholders meeting in March.
  • Kano stepped down as CEO in 2019, but remains the company’s largest shareholder with a 40% stake. BitFlyer sought a sale to Singapore-based fund ACA Partners last year, which Kano said was a maneuver to dilute his stake in the exchange.
  • Kano said he wants to boost bitFlyer’s global position by introducing stablecoins, developing a token-issuing operation and opening up bitFlyer’s own blockchain technology to the public.
  • The former CEO told Bloomberg that bitFlyer has stopped innovating and seizing new opportunities. He added that Japan’s updated crypto regulations could make the platform a “model for the rest of the world.” 
  • Japan’s financial regulators have eased restrictions on crypto token listings and on trade of foreign stablecoins. The country’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida supports the growth of digital finance and blockchain technology adoption for reinvigorating the economy.
  • BitFlyer accounted for 59.4% of Japan’s monthly yen-to-Bitcoin trades in January, according to JPBitcoin.com.

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