BitARG Denies Claims that Yahoo Japan Plans Acquisition for Crypto Exchange

It appears that news surrounding Yahoo Japan’s acquisition of BitARG in a bid to launch a crypto exchange may not be confirmed.

Earlier, it was reported that Yahoo Japan (YJFX), a foreign currency exchange subsidiary of the parent company, had its eyes set on launching a brand new Japanese cryptocurrency exchange for 2019.

It was claimed that YJFX would begin acquiring BitARG Exchange Tokyo, a platform that currently only buys and sells Bitcoins, as part of a year-long process to create a new cryptocurrency trading platform.

However, refuting the claims, BitARG executive Yoon Hee Yuan stated:

“Based on the recent developments in the virtual currency industry, we are studying various possibilities, including investments and partnerships with other companies, in order to further strengthen our system and management, but we have not made any decisions at present.”

According to earlier reports, the acquisition was to include YJFX purchasing 40% of BitARG Exchange Tokyo’s existing and newly listed shares, for a total figure of ¥2,000,000,000. The reason for targeting this particular company purportedly came from the pre-existing license BitARG has from Japan’s Financial Services Agency to run a cryptocurrency exchange service.

It has been claimed that the second stage of the acquisition will see further investments made from other Yahoo subsidiaries at the start of next year as the company heads towards rebranding the existing BitARG system into the new crypto exchange platform. The expected launch date for the final product was said to be around April 2019.

If Yahoo does move ahead, entering into the Japanese crypto exchange market will prove especially challenging for the company in light of recent events within the space.

The Japanese Government has already started to crack down hard on crypto exchanges, issuing several administrative punishment notices only a few weeks ago to listed and unlisted exchanges that they felt had insufficient security measures. These notices came about in response to the recent Coincheck exchange hack where 500 million NEM were reportedly stolen.

“Know Your Customer” and Anti-Money Laundering checks will become mandatory in a bid to verify users and prevent unqualified people accessing the exchange who are more likely to be targeted by hackers.

The Japanese Police agency released a report late last year stating that over ¥662,000,000 was collectively stolen from crypto-based hacks in 2017 and over 669 money laundering cases, highlighting Japan as a hot-spot for malicious online attacks.

With all this in mind, if Yahoo moves in this direction, it will have a lot of work to do in ensuring it meets the latest requirements of the Japanese Government and that its security is up to par with current measures to combat these ever-increasing cyber threats.