Yahoo Japan announced on Friday it would acquire a minority stake in crypto trading platform BitARG Exchange Tokyo, thus confirming earlier rumors of a deal. Japan’s biggest online auction service said it planned to buy 40% of BitARG shares and start providing crypto exchange solutions as of this autumn.
Yahoo Japan declined to reveal the value of the deal, but a source familiar with the investment told Reuters the amount ranges between 2 billion and 3 billion yen ($18.6 million to $27.9 million).
At the end of the last month, we reported on the rumors that Yahoo Japan was ready to buy BitArg Exchange Tokyo, but the latter denied any pending acquisition.
BitARG executive Yoon Hee Yuan said at the time:
“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.”
Earlier reports suggested Yahoo Japan wanted to buy 40% for 2 billion yen as it sought to become a major player in the local crypto market. Yahoo Japan reportedly intended to start its crypto campaign by acquiring 40% of BitARG via its subsidiary YJFX, a retail forex broker, and then change BitARG’s staff, corporate governance, and security systems, among others. The next step would come in early 2019, when Yahoo Japan might buy more BitARG shares via other subsidiaries. The new crypto exchange backed by the Japanese internet company was set to start in April 2019.
On Friday, Yahoo Japan’s stock closed 0.2% down, while the Nikkei index added 0.6% for the day.
The deal comes after Japan-based internet broker Monex announced last week it would acquire crypto exchange Coincheck for $34 million. The latter was involved in one of the biggest hacks in history.