Yahoo Japan is preparing to launch a cryptocurrency exchange, regional media sources say. Nikkei Asian Review reported on Friday that the tech firm — originally a joint venture between Altaba (formerly Yahoo!) and Softbank — will begin an acquisition of BitARG Exchange Tokyo in April and will spend the next year using BitARG’s technology to build a full-fledged exchange that will launch in 2019.
Yahoo Japan’s initial investment will see YJFX — one of its subsidiaries — pay 2 billion yen (~$19 million) for a 40 percent stake in BitARG, which already has a license from the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) to operate a cryptocurrency trading platform.
Yahoo Japan will then make further investments in BitARG through other subsidiaries over the course of the next calendar year as it also scales up the platform’s operations in anticipation of its rebirth as a new exchange, which is tentatively scheduled for April 2019. Japan has emerged as an important center for cryptocurrency trading in Asia since China forced the closure of exchanges on the mainland.