Yahoo Japan buying minority stake in cryptocurrency exchange – reports

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Yahoo Japan is to purchase a minority stake in cryptocurrency exchange BitARG Exchange Tokyo with plans to promote the provision of secure exchange services.

The announcement, which came from BitARG (Japanese), confirms capital participation from Z Corporation, a subsidiary of Yahoo Japan. According to a Reuters source, the level of investment will be between 2-3 billion yen (£13.06m to £19.59m).

The move follows a series of ‘will they, won’t they?’ reports. Last month, Nikkei Asian Review reported that Yahoo Japan would acquire 40% of BitARG with plans to launch a ‘full-blown exchange’ in April 2019 or later. This story was subsequently refuted by BitARG, who said in a statement that it was “studying various possibilities, including capital and business tie-ups with other companies… but have not made any decisions at present.”

BitARG’s most recent announcement before that statement was confirmation of registration with the Financial Services Agency. This is a key point following the hacking of Japan-based Coincheck at the beginning of this year. As this publication reported last month, when reports broke of two Japanese exchanges shutting down: “The huge scale of the Coincheck heist led the FSA to begin on-site inspections on all unregistered operators with applications under review.

“The inspections have so far revealed a host of problems with security, corporate governance and internal controls. It is thought that other operators will be unable to meet the regulator’s demands.”

Last week, Japanese brokerage firm Monex Group said it would buy troubled Coincheck for $34 million.

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