On Friday, Z Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Yahoo Japan, acquired a minority stake (40 percent) in bitARG Tokyo, a cryptocurrency exchange licensed by Japan’s Financial Services Agency. The exchange, which is not yet active, plans to launch its service in fall 2018.
On April 13, 2018, bitARG Tokyo (株式会社ビットアルゴ取引所東京) announced that it accepted an investment from Z Corporation (Japanese), a slightly mysterious subsidiary of Yahoo Japan Corporation.
The exchange‘s representative director, Yoon Hee Yuan, wrote, “As a result of this capital participation, the Company [bitARG] will be able to utilize the service operation and security expertise of the Yahoo Japan Group.”
Yuan added, “We will promote the provision of secure exchange services,” noting that bitARG’s service is scheduled to begin in fall 2018.
Readers may remember that three weeks ago, bitARG denied reports of Yahoo Japan’s investment. Those reports simply may have been premature.
As Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) steps up its scrutiny of cryptocurrency exchanges (after the Coincheck disaster), it’s not immediately clear whether the agency will continue to issue licenses. That could make already-licensed platforms, like bitARG, attractive acquisition targets for other companies interested in expanding into the cryptocurrency trading world.
Last week, the FSA ordered two cryptocurrency exchanges (Eternal Link and FSHO) to halt their business and issued a “business improvement order” to a third exchange called “Last Roots.” Those three platforms – and bitARG – are part of a 16-member cryptocurrency exchange self-regulatory organization, which was announced in March of this year.
It’s worth noting that earlier this month, Monex Group announced that it would purchase Coincheck.