Crypto Exchange Acquired By Japanese E-Commerce Giant Rakuten For $2.4M

News | August 31, 2018 By:

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten has acquired a local cryptocurrency exchange for 265 million yen ($2.4M USD).

In its announcement on Friday, Rakuten said it has signed a share transfer agreement for 100 percent of Everybody’s Bitcoin. The deal is done via Rakuten’s subsidiary, Rakuten Card Co., Ltd. The acquisition is based on a stock purchase agreement between Rakuten Card Co., Ltd. and Traders Investment, Inc. which is the parent company of Everybody’s Bitcoin.

“We expect that the role of cryptocurrency-based payments in e-commerce, offline retail and in P2P payments will grow in the future,” Rakuten said. “In order to provide cryptocurrency payment methods smoothly, we believe it is necessary for us to provide a cryptocurrency exchange function, and have been considering entry into the cryptocurrency exchange industry as the Rakuten Group.”

Launched in March 2017, Everybody’s Bitcoin is one of the several unlicensed crypto exchanges in Japan that were being allowed to operate while their applications are being reviewed by the Financial Services Agency (FSA). Earlier this year, the exchange received a business improvement order from the FSA for not abiding by compliance rules.

According to the FSA, they found that in addition to the insufficient effective management control system to ensure proper operation of business, Everybody’s Bitcoin was “not performing appropriate verification at the internal audit.” Rakuten said it will assist the exchange in enhancing its internal systems to meet the regulator’s requirements.

“Everybody’s Bitcoin aims to register officially as a cryptocurrency exchange, and in order to further promote its cryptocurrency business, it decided to expand the business under the Rakuten Group to maximize synergies,” Rakuten said. “Rakuten Group decided to acquire Everybody’s Bitcoin shares so that it can realize the early registration as a cryptocurrency exchange and develop cryptocurrency services to customers by combining the know-how of Everybody’s Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency exchange, and the know-how of Rakuten Group as a provider of various financial services.”

Rakuten first started accepting bitcoin payments in 2015. In 2016, the e-commerce firm established the Rakuten Blockchain Lab, a “dedicated research and development organization” based in Belfast. Earlier tis year, the company announced its plans to launch Rakuten Coin, which promises to create a “borderless” shopping experience and allow the customer base to purchase goods and services from other Rakuten offerings and regions.