Crypto-asset exchange Coinbase to halt operations in Japan

Struggling US crypto-asset exchange Coinbase says it will halt deals with its customers in Japan and return the assets it holds to them.

Coinbase's Japanese unit says the assets deposited by customers are protected based on law, and that they can withdraw currencies and crypto assets it holds through February 16.

The firm also says that after that date, they will be able to receive refunds from the Legal Affairs Bureau, to which the firm will entrust the assets it holds.

The Japanese unit says that the group has made the "difficult decision" to halt operations in Japan and to conduct a complete review of its Japanese business. It adds that it is committed to making this transition "as smooth as possible."

Coinbase said on Tuesday last week that it would lay off some 950 employees, or about 20 percent of its workforce, as it faces a worsening environment.

In November, another major crypto-asset exchange, FTX Trading, filed for bankruptcy.