Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce behemoth, has announced intentions to buy Everybody’s Bitcoin, a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange founded in December 2016 and debuted in Japan in March 2017. It is still an unregulated exchange that was the focus of an investigation by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) in January of this year after the Coincheckhack, which resulted in a bitcoin theft of more than $500 million.
The transaction will cost Rakuten 265 million JPY (about $2.4 million) and will go into effect on October 1. Though the Rakuten group is best known for e-commerce, it also provides travel and leisure, digital content and communications, and financial technology services like as credit cards, insurance, banking, securities, and digital money. The decision to purchase a cryptocurrency platform is due to rising demand from its securities division’s foreign exchange customers who want to use a cryptocurrency exchange business.
The announcement follows the company’s establishment of the Rakuten Blockchain Lab in 2016 to investigate blockchain technology. The business forecasts a consistent increase in digital payments in the future, citing the rising popularity of cryptocurrency-based payments in online purchasing, physical retail outlets, and P2P payments. It says, “In order to offer cryptocurrency payment methods seamlessly, we feel it is vital for us to provide a cryptocurrency exchange function, and the Rakuten Group has been evaluating entrance into the cryptocurrency exchange sector.”
Acquisition to Support Diversified Services
Rakuten has accepted bitcoin payments since 2015, when it merged its US web portal with Bitnet, a prominent bitcoin payment processing company. According to CoinDesk, the business also released its own loyalty-based Rakuten Coincrypto coins in February. (Also see: Why Did Yahoo Japan Invest in a Crypto Exchange?)
The transaction is intended to strengthen Rakuten’s services ecosystem. Everyone’s Bitcoin platform will benefit from Rakuten’s aid in improving its infrastructure in order to increase security, boost bitcoin business opportunities, and fulfill regulator criteria for acquiring a license. (See also: An Examination of the Most Popular Bitcoin Exchanges.)
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