TOKYO – The Japanese branch of Yahoo announced on Friday it would buy a 40 percent stake in local cryptocurrency exchange Bitarg, with the restructured business expected to start operations in the autumn of 2018, according to a Yahoo statement.
The internet service provider will make the investment through its Japanese subsidiary Z Corporation, marking its entry into blockchain technology and cryptocurrency exchanges.
None of the companies offered details of the value of the investment, but media reports published in March put the figure around 2 billion yen ($18.6 million).
Established in Tokyo in May 2017 with a share capital of 100 million yen, Bitarg is one of the 16 cryptocurrency exchanges recognized by Japan’s Financial Services Agency.
The FSA have toughened security requirements after hackers stole 58 billion yen in NEM coins from the cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck in January, the most significant hack in the sector so far.
Financial services firm Monex announced last week that it was acquiring Coincheck for 3.6 billion yen.
Japan, a pioneer in the regulation of the sector, currently accounts for more than half of the global business in bitcoin, the best-known cryptocurrency.