Japan’s Equities & Forex Trading Firm Rakuten Acquires Crypto Exchange
Rakuten, an online e-commerce and online trading (securities and forex) firm based out of Japan, has acquired cryptocurrency exchange Everybody’s Bitcoin, which also operates in the same country.
Per the official announcement made by Raukten, the Tokyo-based exchange was totally bought out by the former’s subsidiary Rakuten Card in a deal worth ¥265 million ($2.40 million).
Rakuten has explained that the decision to acquire Everybody’s Bitcoin was made after taking into consideration the increasing interest towards cryptocurrency trading, mainly from clients of its securities and Forex trading platform Rakuten Securities – one of the largest platforms in terms of trading volume in Japan.
Everybody’s Bitcoin applied for a crypto trading registration with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) soon after it was established last year. With pending approval from the regulator, Everybody’s Bitcoin has been operating as a deemed cryptocurrency exchange. Earlier this April, Everybody’s Bitcoin was warned by the regulator for its relaxed procedures on issues such as anti-money laundering, book-keeping and KYC. However, it continues operating.
Commenting on the acquisition Rakuten said
“Rakuten Group decided to acquire Everybody’s Bitcoin shares so that it can realize the early registration as a cryptocurrency exchange and develop cryptocurrency services to customers by combining the know-how of Everybody’s Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency exchange, and the know-how of Rakuten Group as a provider of various financial services.”
Rakuten, a publicly traded company, clarified that its interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology dates back to 2016 when it established Rakuten Blockchain Lab for research on the disruptive technology.
“We expect 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, and have been considering entry into the cryptocurrency exchange industry as the Rakuten Group.”
Rakuten is a diversified company with interest in online retail, financial services, fintech, digital content and communications. With more than 1 billion clients across the globe, including Europe, the US and Canada, the firm is sometimes referred to as “The Amazon of Japan”.