Japan’s Rakuten Launches Crypto Exchange

The Japanese retail giant officially launched its long-awaited crypto exchange, through the Rakuten Wallet subsidiary.

Japan’s retail giant Rakuten officially launched its long-awaited crypto exchange to offer spot-trading services. The launch happens through the Rakuten Wallet subsidiary, and the trading services will be available as an in-app functionality.

Rakuten arrives late to the Japanese crypto bonanza, where investors are now much more aware of risks and regulators are scrutinizing exchanges. But the large-scale company managed to offer a more transparent crypto experience.

“In order to provide customers with safe and secure crypto asset transaction services, Rakuten Wallet separates money deposited by customers (customer assets) from the company's own funds, managing the assets (trust maintenance) in trust accounts provided by Rakuten Trust Co., Ltd., the trust company of Rakuten Group. Rakuten Trust manages those trust assets through Rakuten Bank, Ltd. savings accounts,” announced the firm in a recent press release.

Rakuten Wallet allows for speedy and free crypto movements and trading by storing the actual assets in cold multi-sig wallets. There are no explicit guidelines on custodial services in Japan, but the company has attempted to offer a multi-step access process, to avoid the fate of hacked exchanges like Coincheck, in which human error gave wallet access to hackers.

The Rakuten app will also start with only a handful of assets - Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), a rather limited selection for 2019, where most apps and wallets offer a much wider selection of coins and tokens. Rakuten Wallet will present the iOS version of its app in September.

Withdrawal fees for the app are relatively high, at 0.001 BTC, 0.01 ETH and 0.01 BCH. Thus, users are mostly encouraged to store the assets within the app.

Japan has been widely important for the development of a global digital asset market. Assets like MonaCoin (MONA) were highly dependent on Japanese yen trading. Exchanges in the country are less reliant on stablecoins, as most of them have permission to handle fiat and even issue yen-based loans to add leverage to trading.

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