Yahoo Japan is set to buy a minority stake in Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange BitARG with services primed for launch later this year.
In significant news out of Japan on Friday, a domestic subsidiary of Yahoo Japan will be acquiring 40% of Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange BitARG, paving the way for the tech giant to enter the crypto sector. Yahoo Japan remains among the most popular websites in Japan – ranked at #4 by user traffic in the country and #40 globally – and is also the country’s biggest online auction site.
ARG announced it would accept the minority takeover from ‘Z Corporation’, Yahoo Japan’s wholly owned subsidiary.
The exchange operator added:
As a result of this capital participation, the Company will be able to utilize the service operation and security expertise of the Yahoo Japan Group, which will make it easier for customers to prepare for the start of the exchange service managed by the Company and to improve the operation after the commencement We will promote the provision of secure exchange services.
While financial terms of the deal have been withheld, a Reuters report is citing unofficial figures of the capital to be ‘likely’ between 2 billion – 3 billion yen, between $18.5 million and $27.8 million, for the 40% stake in BitARG, a cryptocurrency exchange which has notably been granted a license from the country’s Financial Service Agency (FSA) to operate a domestic cryptocurrency trading platform.
As reported previously, Yahoo Japan is also set to make additional investments through other subsidiaries over the course of 2019 to scale up BitARG’s operations.
Yahoo’s marked foray into the cryptocurrency sector is the latest example of a traditional corporate giant to invest and, in multiple cases, launch and operate a cryptocurrency exchange in Japan.
A week ago to the day, major Japanese online brokerage Monex confirmed its 100% acquisition of Coincheck, an embattled cryptocurrency exchange. Monex was undeterred despite Coincheck fielding plenty of criticism this year for lax security protocols that led to the theft of $530 million in NEM tokens from its wallet in January.
Despite delays, Japanese banking giant SBI is set to launch and operate its own cryptocurrency exchange after strengthening security measures at a time when the FSA is ramping up its scrutiny of exchanges following the Coincheck theft.
Messaging giant Line, with a market cap of over $9 billion and some 600 million registered users and 200 million monthly active users, has also filed an application with the FSA to launch its own cryptocurrency exchange in Japan.