Rakuten to Buy a Japanese Bitcoin Exchange
Japanese e-commerce and internet company, Rakuten, is moving with organized steps into the cryptocurrency sector following its intention to purchase a Bitcoin trading platform.
The announcement made on 31 August indicates that Rakuten will soon become the owner of a local crypto exchange dubbed Everybody’s Bitcoin. The deal reaches costs of 265 million yen or $ 2.4 million to be transferred on 1 October via the company’s subsidiary Rakuten Card Co., Ltd.
“The acquisition is based on a stock purchase agreement between Rakuten Card Co., Ltd. and Traders Investment, Inc. which is the parent company of everybody’s bitcoin,” as reported in the announcement.
Commenting on the motivation behind this decision, Rakuten hopes that “the role of cryptocurrency-based payments in e-commerce, offline retail and in P2P payments will grow in the future”:
“In order to provide cryptocurrency payment methods smoothly, we believe it is necessary for us to provide a cryptocurrency exchange function.” It went on stating that the purchase of Everybody’s Bitcoin comes as a response to market demands, given that the number of cross-border exchange users is growing fast.
Everybody’s Bitcoin isn’t licensed
Released in the first quarter of 2017, Everybody’s Bitcoin is still operating as an unauthorized cryptocurrency trading platform in Japan. It came under the supervision of the regulatory body- Financial Services Agency after Coincheck platform suffered colossal losses following a cyber attack occurred in January 2018.
As part of the contract, Rakuten commits to making the necessary changes within the exchange’s system so that it meets the requirements of the FSA and obtain the license.
As reported in the announcement, Everybody’s Bitcoin registered a net loss of roughly $ 444,000 for the accounting year ended on 30 March 2018. The deal comes shortly after Rakuten announced its intention to release a native crypto asset as a solution to expand the company’s customer base.
Tokyo-based company Rakuten opened its doors for Bitcoin payments since 2015 after it teamed up with payment operator Bitnet.