Japanese retail giant Rakuten acquires crypto exchange ‘Everybody’s Bitcoin’ 22148 Retail giant Rakuten
News
Rakesh Ranjan Parashar
Sep 1, 2018 at 12:32 AM

Japanese biggest online retail giant Rakuten is planning to enter the cryptocurrency market in a big way. In an announcement on Friday, the company revealed the details of its 100% acquisition of Tokyo-based crypto exchange ‘Everybody’s Bitcoin’ in a ¥265 million ($2.4 million) deal which is expected to go through on October 1.

Rakuten, Japan’s largest e-commerce company, said it expected crypto payments in e-commerce as well as offline retail and peer-to-peer payments to grow in the future and had been planning to enter the sector as a conglomerate.

It added:

“In order to provide crypto payment methods smoothly, we believe it is necessary for us to provide a cryptocurrency exchange function, and have been considering entry into the exchange industry as the Rakuten Group.”

Everybody's Bitcoin is one of the several unlicensed crypto exchanges in Japan that came under scrutiny from Japan's Financial Services Authority (FSA) earlier this year. The Financial Services Authority earlier this year in April had imposed administrative punishment on Everybody’s Bitcoin for not abiding by compliance rules.

Growing demand for a cryptocurrency exchange

Underlining the growing demand of a cryptocurrency exchange, Rakuten further revealed that a growing number of customers using its securities services, “have been calling for the provision of a cryptocurrency exchange.”

“Rakuten Group decided to acquire Everybody’s Bitcoin shares so that it can realize the early registration as a cryptocurrency exchange and develop 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 company added.

Sudden turnaround for Everybody's Bitcoin

With this acquisition, the retail giant hopes to help Everybody’s Bitcoin to revamp its internal systems and meet the compliance requirements set by the regulator. It has been a pleasant turnaround for the local crypto exchange which reported a net loss of $ 444,000 for the fiscal year ending March 30, 2018.

The increased scrutiny and monitoring on part of the FSA comes in wake of the infamous $530 million theft of cryptocurrency from Tokyo-based exchange Coincheck in January.

Rakuten is Japan’s biggest marketplace, with over 44,000 sellers or merchants worldwide. Ever since the company introduced its loyalty program in 2003, it has given away 1 trillion super points, worth in excess of $9 billion USD. According to a report published earlier this year, Rakuten, with a market capitalization of over $12.5 billion, is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency called Rakuten Coin based on blockchain technology.

See Also: Rakuten launches its own cryptocurrency

Crypto-exchanges should be regulated like banks: Monex Chief, Oki Matsumoto

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