Yahoo Japan announces on Friday that it is acquiring a minority stake in the Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange BitARG.
The Yahoo Japan Corp said on Friday that it will buy a 40 percent stake in BitARG through a domestic subsidiary.
Yahoo Japan is the biggest auction site in the Japan ranked #4 in user traffic in the country and #40 globally.
The investment is seen as Yahoo’s first step to enter the crypto world. The company did not give any financial details of the investment however, a source familiar with the matter said it could probably be 2 to 3 billion Yen that will be equal to $18.6 million to $27.9 million.
ARG, said in a statement it will accept the minority investment from the “Z Corporation”, Yahoo Japan’s subsidiary.
“As a result of this capital participation, the Company will be able to utilize the service operation and security expertise of the Yahoo Japan Group, which will make it easier for customers to prepare for the start of the exchange service managed by the Company and to improve the operation after the commencement We will promote the provision of secure exchange services,” the exchange operator added.
To scale up BitARG’s operations, Yahoo reportedly plans to make further investments in the exchange over the course of 2019.
BitARG has been granted a license by the Federal Service Agency in Japan to operate the crypto trading platform.
It seems like Yahoo is looking into launching a cryptocurrency exchange or a related business in Japan as most of the major firms in the country are doing the same.
The Yahoo announcement comes just a week after a major Japanese online brokerage firm Monex announced a 100 percent acquisition of Coincheck for $34 million. Coincheck is one of the leading crypto exchanges in the country which has been in the news a lot lately due to its poor security measures that led to a theft of $530 million worth of NEM tokens from its wallet.
The financial services giant in Japan, SBI aims to launch a cryptocurrency exchange but has postponed the launch date saying it needs to further strengthen its security protocols.
Similarly, Line, a Japanese messaging app giant with a market cap of over $9 billion is also set to launch a cryptocurrency exchange and for that has filed an application with the FSA.