Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten has launched its own exchange for crypto spot trading.
Monday, Rakuten Wallet has gone live for trading in bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) and bitcoin cash (BCH) against the Japanese yen via an Android mobile app. An iOS app is due to be released in the future, though no set timeline was provided.
The firm said customer funds held by the subsidiary will be managed separately from its own, under the eye of its trust company, Rakuten Trust, and through savings accounts at Rakuten Bank.
Rakuten further stresses that users' deposited cryptos will be held in cold, or offline, storage to minimize the risk of hacking. For added security, private keys are managed using a multisignature scheme, and two-step authentication is required when signing in and making withdrawals.
No fees are charged for making trades or deposits, which are conducted in real time, 365 days a year (excluding when maintenance is occurring), the firm says.
However, for fiat withdrawals, Rakuten Wallet will charge 300 JYN (around $2.80), and for crypto withdrawals it will charge at the (slightly arbitrary seeming) rates of: bitcoin at 0.001 BTC ($10.70), ether at 0.01 ETH ($2) and bitcoin cash at 0.01 BCH ($3.20), with conversions correct at time of writing.
The lack of fees on buying and selling cryptos should appeal to users making frequent trades.
Rakuten first revealed its exchange play in March, saying it had been awarded a license in Japan for its rebranded entity – an exchange platform called Everybody’s Bitcoin acquired for $2.4 million last August. In May, it partnered with blockchain analytics firm CipherTrace to help ensure regulatory compliance for the exchange.
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