The Japanese arm of internet giant Yahoo! will open a cryptocurrency exchange “in April 2019 or later” local media Nikkei Asian Review reports today, March 23.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, Yahoo! Japan will buy 40% of BitARG Exchange Tokyo next month, and immediately dispatch executives to lay the foundations for the exchange to launch a year later.
“The purchase of BitARG shares will be made through Tokyo’s YJFX, a wholly owned Yahoo subsidiary that operates foreign exchange transaction services,” the publication reports, adding that the 40% stake will cost the company 2 bln yen ($19 mln).
The move by Yahoo! brings a further big name to Japan’s fledgling regulated cryptocurrency exchange arena.
A crypto exchange licensing scheme that began in April 2017 has now seen a total of 16 operators cleared to serve the Japanese market, these including major players such as SBI Group.
BitARG has held its license from federal regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA) since December 2017, this so far extending only to Bitcoin trading, local news outlets reported at the time.
The FSA meanwhile made headlines in cryptocurrency of its own just yesterday, March 22, after Nikkei claimed the FSA was seeking to ban the world’s largest exchange Binance for failing to register as an operator.
Both Binance’s co-founder Yi He and CEO Changpeng Zhao have refuted the reports, which caused Bitcoin prices to drop up to 5% March 22. However, today, March 23, Zhao confirmed that the exchange is looking to relocate to Malta, calling the island nation “very progressive when it comes to crypto and fintech.”
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