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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