Japan's top financial watchdog has granted a license to a cryptocurrency exchange being relaunched by e-commerce giant Rakuten.
The country’s Financial Service Agency (FSA) announced the news Monday, stating that the new exchange, Rakuten Wallet, is now registered with the Kanto Local Financial Bureau as a virtual currency exchange service provider under the country’s Payment Service Act. Rakuten also confirmed the news in a separate statement.
Rakuten Wallet is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rakuten and replaces an exchange called Everybody’s Bitcoin Inc. that it acquired for $2.4 million last August.
The firm rebranded the exchange offering to Rakuten Wallet on March 1. In its announcement, Rakuten also said it is ceasing the older service at the end of this month and that users can sign up for the new Rakuten Wallet service from April.
The firm also said Everybody’s Bitcoin had been operating as a "deemed” cryptocurrency exchange provider since its launch in March 2017, having applied for a license at the time. The firm received a business improvement order from the Kanto bureau last spring, and has "officially restructured" its management system and upgraded internal systems in order to receive the license for the rebooted entity.
The FSA at the same time issued a license to another exchange called DeCurret, which says it will provide spot trading of four cryptocurrencies from April 16 in Japan. New accounts start opening from March 27. DeCurret’s shareholders include notable firms such as MUFG Bank, Nomura Holdings, Internet Initiative Japan Inc., Daiwa Securities Group and the Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, among others.
In January, the FSA also granted license to Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck, which suffered a $530 million hack early last year. With the two new approvals, the number of licensed cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan now stands at 19, according to the FSA announcement.
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