Yahoo Japan has announced plans to purchase a 40% minority stake in cryptocurrency exchange BitARG. The platform is headquartered in Tokyo, scheduled for launch later this year.
BitARG has accepted the offer from Yahoo Japan’s subsidiary, stating, ”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.”
Reuters has reported unofficial figures regarding the financial terms of the agreement, estimating the deal to be worth between USD 18.5 million and USD 27.8 million. BitARG has been granted a license to operate as a domestic cryptocurrency trading platform from Japan’s Financial Service Agency (FSA), making the deal far more financially viable for Yahoo to invest in.
Yahoo has also reportedly scheduled additional investments through alternative subsidiaries to support the development of BitARG throughout this year and next.
The deal is particularly significant as Yahoo Japan is one of the most popular websites used in the country, ranking as the fourth most visited website, while also being home to Japan’s largest online auction site. Yahoo itself is a top 40 website globally in terms of traffic rank; a tech conglomerate of this stature entering the cryptocurrency sector could be a significant benefit for the industry.
Yahoo is not the first corporate giant to invest in the cryptocurrency industry; last week Monex, an online brokerage servicing Japan, confirmed a complete acquisition of exchange platform Coincheck. The cryptocurrency trading platform was experiencing an onslaught of criticism due to its poor security assurances that led to the theft of USD 530 million worth of NEM tokens.
Japanese bank SBI has plans to launch its own cryptocurrency exchange. As Japan’s FSA strengthens regulations around security measures for such projects following the Coincheck theft, startup projects such as this will have to prove they can comply with more stringent security checks.