According to a report from the Nikkei Asian Review, Yahoo Japan is planning to join the cryptocurrency exchange industry. The report states that next month, Yahoo Japan will acquire a 40% stake in the BitARG Exchange Tokyo, an exchange platform on which users can buy and sell Bitcoin. Yahoo is also planning to launch their own exchange based on BitARG’s system in the near future.
BitARG is licensed by a Japanese financial regulator (the Financial Services Agency), and Yahoo Japan is expected to invest even more into the exchange in early 2019, from January to March. Yahoo Japan will purchase the 40% shares in BitARG through YJFX, which is a Yahoo-owned forex transaction platform.
Japan’s FSA has recently ramped up enforcing regulations due to the due to the massive $533 million hack of Coincheck back in January. Recently, the FSA also issued multiple month-long suspensions to two exchanges and sent a written warning to the Hong-Kong based Binance about its lack of registration.
The total investment of Yahoo Japan in BitARG will be around 2 billion yen (which equals about $19 million USD) for the 40% stake in the exchange. The Yahoo Japan stake will be made up of both newly issued stock and outstanding shares. After the investment, starting next month, engineers and executives from YJFX will start the development of the new exchange, while also designing corporate governance, security and customer management systems.
Following the shutdown of Chinese exchanges, Japan emerged as an important center for crypto trading in Asia. The country introduced relatively favourable regulations and has seen mainstream companies in the country developing their own cryptocurrency products.