Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce leader, will launch its own cryptocurrency exchange from April 1. Rakuten has completed the registration of the exchange, as announced in a recent press release.
Rakuten’s Acquisition of Everybody’s Bitcoin
In the press release, Rakuten mentioned that they had registered Rakuten Wallet Co. Ltd. with the Kanto Finance Bureau. Rakuten had acquired Everybody’s Bitcoin, Inc. in April 2018 for 265 million yen ($2.4 million at the time). During the time, Rakuten had said that it was acquiring the crypto exchange as they expected “that the role of cryptocurrency-based payments in e-commerce, offline retail and in P2P payments will grow in the future.” It also said that they were getting requests for crypto payments on their shopping platforms.
The acquisition happened a mere four months after an “improvement notice” was received by Everybody’s Bitcoin by the Japanese Financial Services Agency. The notice had asked the crypto exchange to rectify its internal management control system. The notice had also mentioned quite a few inconsistencies in the operation of the exchange. Everybody’s Bitcoin had also reported a loss of more than $400,000 during the fiscal year 2017-18.
Rakuten Wallet Getting Ready for Launch
After acquisition, Rakuten worked on the shortcomings that were mentioned in the improvement notice. The exchange, in its current form, will cease operations at the end of March. The exchange has been renamed as Rakuten Wallet and will begin operations from next month.
“Rakuten Wallet will contribute to the sound growth of the market as a virtual currency exchange company, and will further enhance security and provide enhanced services so that more customers can use it safely and with confidence,” the company’s press release mentioned.
Rakuten is one in a long and elite line of major Japanese tech players to enter the crypto space. Recently, Yahoo! Japan bought a 40% stake in the crypto exchange BitARG (now renamed as Taotao).