U.S.-based crypto exchange Coinbase is yet to receive an operating license in Japan, but appears to have moved one step closer to get one.
The exchange has joined the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA), the country's self-regulatory organization for crypto firms, as a second-class member.
Second-class members are those businesses that are "applying for or planning to apply for virtual currency exchange registration as prescribed in Article 63-3 of the Payment Services Act," according to the JVCEA.
Coinbase initially announced its plans to enter Japan in 2016. Later, in 2018, the exchange appointed former Morgan Stanley Japan staffer Nao Kitazawa to head its local office. At the time, Coinbase indicated it was confident it would receive a license in Japan before the end of 2019. That hasn't happened yet.
It remains unclear whether Coinbase has already applied for a license or is still undergoing a process. The Block has reached out to Kitazawa for comments and will update this story if we hear back.
Besides Coinbase, two other firms - Digital Asset Markets and Tokyo Hash - have also joined the JVCEA as second-class members, per Monday's announcement.