Yahoo Japan’s Forex Arm To Acquire Stake in Cryptocurrency Exchange ‎BitARG

Yahoo Japan Corporation (TYO:4689) plans to acquire, revamp a cryptocurrency exchange, a move that ‎comes as Tokyo police is investigating such operators after the massive theft from Japan’s ‎mega cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc.‎

Through its retail forex brokerage arm, YJFX!, Yahoo Japan will take a 40 percent stake in the ‎BitARG exchange, which is regulated by the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) as a licensed ‎platform to buy and sell Bitcoins.‎

Yahoo Japan will buy part of the stake through acquiring ‎outstanding shares and injection of new capital increase, it said. The purchase price was disclosed at 2 billion yen ‎‎($19 million) for the stake in BitARG.‎

Yahoo Japan has expressed intentions to gain scale through BitARG’s‎ acquisition ‎and to expand its footprint with the launch a fully-fledged exchange in April 2019. This will ‎follow a planned additional investment in Q1 2019 through another Yahoo ‎company. ‎

Yahoo Japan is the largest Internet provider/payment processor in the ‎country, where it has a bigger presence than Google in search and mail services, and does more financial transactions than PayPal.‎

The company’s arrival to Japan’s lucrative cryptocurrency market comes at a time when the major exchanges, including BitARG, are being investigated by the FSA following ‎the hack on Coincheck, where more than $530 million worth of NEM were stolen.

The list also includes the 16 exchanges that are already fully licensed and ‎another 16 that have yet to obtain a license but are currently under ‎review by the agency.‎

YJFX is 100 percent owned by Yahoo Japan. The retail FX brokerage was started in 2003 and is part of the parent company’s financial and payment-related services.

The unit is part of the ‘Other Business’ segment of Yahoo Japan, which accounts for 8 percent of the revenue and 5 per cent of the net income of the parent firm. In 2015, the business segment generated about $270 million in revenue (¥32.3 billion) with operating income amounting to $96.6 million (¥11.6 billion).

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