Rakuten Group, dubbed Japan’s Amazon, announced that it has acquired crypto exchange Everybody’s Bitcoin through its subsidiary, Rakuten Card Co., Ltd., all in an effort to enter into the cryptocurrency exchange industry, according to its press release dated August 31.
The stock purchase agreement between Rakuten Card and Traders Investment Inc., the parent company of Everybody’s Bitcoin, allows the latter to “expand the business under the Rakuten Group to maximize synergies,” the press announcement read.
On the retail conglomerate’s end, the acquisition would mark its official entry into the cryptocurrency exchange industry as the Rakuten Group, as it believes that it is only necessary for it to have its own cryptocurrency exchange function to “provide cryptocurrency payment methods smoothly.”
This is prior to its creation of the Rakuten Blockchain Lab in Belfast, UK, way back in 2016. All these are just necessary steps to fulfill the conglomerate’s vision that cryptocurrency-based payments in e-commerce, peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, and offline retailing, will grow in the future.
But the conglomerate made it clear that if there’s anything that it will profit from the deal, money is not it.
The company stated in the announcement:
“The potential impact on the company’s earnings results from this new subsidiary is negligible. From here on, the company will consider trading conditions and make a disclosure in a timely and appropriate manner. In addition, the amount of goodwill, and valuation and time period of amortization of intangible assets will be decided based on its evaluation from now.”
Making It Official
It should be understood that Everybody’s Bitcoin is yet to receive its “official” operating license. Since its launch on March 30, 2017, it is only regulated by the Kanto Local Finance Bureau. Currently, it operates as a “deemed” cryptocurrency exchange and is waiting for its official approval.
In April 2018, the aforementioned local bureau issued a business improvement order to the said crypto exchange, in terms of the establishment of management control systems, anti-money laundering (AML) schemes, terrorism financing, as well as the steps on book management systems, system risk control, user protection measures, and its management of outsourcing in terms of business operations.
While the crypto exchange is in the process of satisfying the requirements set by the said finance bureau, it admits the need for stronger leverage for it to promote further its crypto business. This explains why it decided to operate under Rakuten Group.
The retail conglomerate will do everything in its power to help Everybody’s Bitcoin acquire the official cryptocurrency exchange status that it so desires and develop crypto services for its consumers by synergizing their strengths.
It would seem that Everybody’s Bitcoin’s decision is on point, as the Financial Services Agency (FSA), Japan’s crypto watchdog, announced that it is tightening its registration screening for aspiring cryptocurrency exchanges to make sure that citizens who would use cryptocurrencies are well protected by the said exchanges, as required by the law.
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