Before the concept of blockchain gained impetus, and before the word ‘cryptocurrency’ was on every investor’s mind, Japan was leading the race to accept and implement blockchain with exciting ventures. The Japanese have always been technology giants, and their creations are adored across the globe. However, along with this open-mindedness comes solid regard for discipline and rules, too.
In 2014 came BitFlyer from the land of immense technological advancements. It is not the only cryptocurrency exchange in the country, Japan has many of those. But BitFlyer is arguably the biggest wolf in town regarding Japan’s crypto exchange market share.
With this BitFlyer review, we’ll dive in-depth into what makes BitFlyer the leader of the pack in Japan. We’ll also discuss the shortcomings it suffers, keeping it away from breaking into the elusive list of top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
Origin And Overview
Located in Tokyo, Japan, BitFlyer is one of the most affordable exchanges for a cryptocurrency trader, although many claim its excessive regulation to be a headache. However, if you’re dealing in common cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether, this exchange should certainly interest you.
It was founded by Takafumi Komiyama and Yuzo Kano, who had previously worked at Goldman Sachs together. Ever since its establishment, it has received funding from some big players in the market during the seven rounds of investment so far.
BitFlyer is the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in Japan and is the country’s market leader in terms of trade volume. Its trade volume is the highest in Japan, and its fees are among the lowest across the world. Another great advantage of this exchange is the low latency. Since you can trade twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, users enjoy low latency.
Having said that, you might not hear a lot about this exchange, especially if you live outside Japan. There is a separate arm of BitFlyer that caters to the American population, known as BitFlyer US. Likewise, there is a different website with support for European countries, known as BitFlyer Europe.
A huge reason that it has the trust of its users, especially the Japanese users, is that it is one of the very few regulated exchange and trading platforms. BitFlyer is regulated by the JFSA (Japan Financial Services Agency) and is a licensed virtual currency exchange operator with the registration number 00003. It is also approved by the Director of the Kanto Local Force Finance Bureau of Japan, earning it the trust of locals as well as its users across the globe.
One of the disadvantages of using BitFlyer is its accessibility. At the time of writing this, BitFlyer is available in just the three regions – Japan, the USA, and Europe. Of course, there are accessibility options like using VPN or third-party mediators that charge a slight commission, but these are not advisable.
What makes this exchange one of the top 15 exchanges in the world? Delve into this BitFlyer review to find out.
The exchange supports many payment methods like wire transfers and credit or debit cards and supports all fiat currencies of the regions in which it operates. Users can buy cryptocurrencies in exchange for JPY, EUR, or USD. Apart from this, there are several other things that users love about this exchange, some of which are:
1. Fully Regulated
The exchange is fully regulated in all its functioning regions. We already saw the regulation details for BitFlyer Japan. The United States branch is based out of Silicon Valley in California and is compliant with all state and national rules through the New York Department of Financial Services.
2. Cold Wallet Storage For BTC
This cold storage means that your money is safe from hackers. Also, the storage is protected by physical locks and is under constant surveillance to ensure security.
3. Highly Affordable Fees
The fees offered by BitFlyer are region-specific and designed to be highly competitive with other exchanges within that region.
4. Mobile Applications With An Integrated Wallet
They have a mobile application for Android as well as iOS users, which allows you to trade on the go.
5. Support For OTC Trading
OTC Trading (Over-the-Counter) trading is highly beneficial for users looking to trade in huge quantities. This ensures their trade is based on the current prices and that their trade volume does not disrupt the market prices.
1. No Crypto-to-Crypto Exchange Supported
You can only buy and sell using fiat currencies as of now. The fiat currencies supported are EUR, JPY, and USD.
2. ‘Too Much’ Regulation
Since the exchange is regulated, it can lead to restrictions of some features depending on the regulations of your region. Also, since the exchange works with all regulators and complies with all rules, the exchange may share your data with law enforcement officials if needed. This isn’t usually good news for those who enjoy their privacy.
3. Very Limited Coins and Trading Pairs
This is one of the major disadvantages of trading with BitFlyer. While it boasts of great security and a lot of advantages, it’s quite restrictive in terms of altcoin choices. Unless you trade in one of the major cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, BCH, MONA, LTC, etc., you won’t find a great deal of variety here. This could be bad news for users looking to expand their portfolios.
The table below provides an exhaustive list of all coins that the platform offers based on your location.
|BitFlyer Japan||BitFlyer Europe|
Ethereum Classic (ETC)
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Basic Attention Token (BAT)
BitFlyer was founded after the hack suffered by the then cryptocurrency exchange giant Mt. Gox. Wary of hack attempts and many security issues, BitFlyer has implemented some state-of-the-art security measures to ensure their users needn’t worry about losing their money. In fact, understanding these security measures is one of the most important things you’ll come across in the BitFlyer review.
These features are:
All communication is encrypted using SSL encryption. This includes all modes of internal (within the exchange, between employees) as well as external (exchange-to-customers or vice versa) communication.
- Countermeasure against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks using IP Anycast.
- Multi-sig for BTC Addresses
- All deposits and withdrawals are confirmed manually by humans rather than through automation.
- It uses its own Bitcoin daemon instead of the public Bitcoin daemon.
- Consistent and timely system tests for safety and stress.
- 2-Factor Authentication
Apart from these features, the verification process for registration to this exchange is manual (done by humans instead of bots), and the cold-wallet storage for BTC adds to the anti-theft countermeasures. The cold wallets are protected by physical locks and are under constant, 24/7 surveillance.
Is Your Country Supported?
The answer may not be positive unless you’re a resident of the United States, Europe, or Japan. The three arms of BitFlyer, BitFlyer Japan, BitFlyer US, and BitFlyer Europe together serve customers across almost 50 states.
However, the exchange is registered with local regulators in each of these regions, and therefore, the features you have access to would be subject to the local regulatory rules at your location.
What Are The Fees?
BitFlyer offers highly competitive fees and is very transparent in terms of the amount and its purpose. You can find everything on their website, the fees vary depending on whether you’re trading with BitFlyer Japan, BitFlyer US, or BitFlyer Europe.
We’ve summarized the important charges depending on your location – the fees are different to match the fee trends in the specific regions, which means the prices will be competitive across regions.
Based on the 30-day cumulative trading, a fee of 0.12% is charged for the volume of $0 to anything less than $1 million. For values exceeding $1 million but less than $10 million, the charges applicable are 0.07%. Anything above $10 million is charged at only 0.02%.
Furthermore, if you use either Fedwire or ACH to deposit USD into the exchange’s wallet, you are not charged anything. However, there is a $20 withdrawal fee for Fedwire, so it’s recommended to use ACH for withdrawals as it’s free.
Buying and selling cryptocurrencies is absolutely free on the exchange. The above fees are for buying cryptocurrencies using USD.
Like BitFlyer USA, you incur no charges for buying and selling cryptocurrencies, i.e., crypto-to-crypto transactions. The charges to buy cryptocurrencies using EUR are again based on a 30-day cumulative volume.
The categories of trade volume are the same as above; the rates for the same are 0.20%, 0.15%, and 0.10%, respectively. You can deposit EUR to your BitFlyer wallet absolutely free using SEPA. However, there is a small fee for withdrawals, which is 0.30 EUR for 250,000 EUR or lower, and 0.10 EUR for anything that exceeds 250,000 EUR.
Similar to the aforementioned arms of BitFlyer, BitFlyer Japan users pay based on a 30-day cumulative trading volume. The commission starts at 0.15% for anything less than 100,000 JPY and for anything equaling or exceeding 500 million JPY, the fee stands at 0.01%.
Users do not incur any deposit or withdrawal charges if they use SBI Sumishin Netbank.
Concluding This BitFlyer Review
If you’re a beginner with a small portfolio or a big-time investor who prefers the road most traveled, the choices of cryptocurrencies that BitFlyer has on offer should sound good to you. Even if variety is the spice of your life, it would still be advisable to use this exchange for all the currencies it supports.
Regardless of whether you use BitFlyer US or BitFlyer Japan, the security of this exchange is yours to leverage. A highly secure exchange with a cold wallet and highly affordable fees, what else do you need? If there’s one thing this BitFlyer review indicates, it’s that a regulated, secure, cheap cryptocurrency exchange with a good reputation and intelligent founders unafraid of change and evolution.
Laura has been interested in finance for a very long time, especially since her graduation in Economics. With the increasing popularity of cryptocurrency, she decides to read up more on the subject and soon became an expert. Laura has been dabbling with crypto ever since and started investing in them in 2017.