Japanese Crypto Exchange Acquired by E-Commerce Giant Rakuten

Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce giant, has announced the purchase of a Japanese Bitcoin-focused exchange called Everybody's Bitcoin Inc.

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Japanese electronic and internet giants, Rakuten, joins the growing list of big investors investing in the crypto industry, as the company announced the purchase of a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange called Everybody’s Bitcoin.

Rakuten ventures into the crypto industry

Rakuten acquired 100% of Everybody’s Bitcoin, a Bitcoin-based exchange for 265 million yen or an estimated $2.4 million USD.

Rakuten says it believes that the nascent industry would play a major role in developing e-commerce in the future.

Specifics of the purchase

The purchase carried out by its subsdiary, Rakuten Card, was announced by Rakuten on August 31, 2018, and will be finalized by both parties on October 1, 2018.

Everybody’s Bitcoin is a Tokyo based Bitcoin exchange, with little to no popularity outside of Japan.

The exchange platform was established last year and applied to Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) for a cryptocurrency trading registration, however, in April this year, things went south for the exchange as it battled with authorities.

The exchange faced scrutiny from the FSA regarding its anti-money laundering and KYC-procedures and book-keeping, as the Japanese regulators moved to ensure a better business and improve the security of crypto exchanges this year.

Rakuten said in a statement:

“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,”

The announcement reveals that Everybody’s Bitcoin reported a net loss of 49.217 million yen (around $445k) during its fiscal year ending March 30, 2018.

Source: Rakuten – Announcement of Acquisition of everybody’s bitcoin Inc. – 08-31-2018

Rakuten responds to rising interest in cryptocurrencies

Along with the announcement, Rakuten stated that the decision to acquire a cryptocurrency exchange comes in response to the rising interest in crypto trading.

The company revealed interests in crypto trading was expressed mostly by clients of its online securities and forex trading platform Rakuten Securities, which is one of the largest by trading volume in Japan.

The e-commerce giants also said that it believes that cryptocurrencies have a major role to play in the development of e-commerce in the future. Rakuten said:

“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 has announced that it is already working with to implement improvements and plans to register officially its newly purchased exchange with the FSA.

Rakuten and the nascent industry

This is not Rakuten’s first move into the blockchain industry, in 2015 Rakuten began accepting Bitcoin payments on its website since 2015 after the e-commerce giants partnered with Bitnet.

Earlier this year, Rakuten announced plans to launch its own cryptocurrency as part of a new blockchain-based loyalty program.

The purchase means a turnaround for Everybody’s Bitcoin which have had its run-in with Japan’s authorities this year.

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