Japan Yahoo backs new cryptocurrency exchange

Taotao, formerly known as BitARG, will launch in May

A subsidiary of Japan Yahoo will allow the trade of cryptocurrencies after a reported $19 million deal.

Taotao, formerly known as BitARG, will launch in May and is a 40% subsidiary of the internet giant.

It will trade in cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) and will offer margin trading for Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Ripple (XRP).

Taotao has regulatory approval from the Japan Financial Services Agency (JFSA).

Local media reported Japan Yahoo paid about 2 billion yen for the stake.

Pioneering Japan

Japan Yahoo is not the first mainstream Japanese company to invest in blockchain.

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten is fusing the technology and its Super Points loyalty programme to create its own cryptocurrency, Rakuten Coin.

Rakuten CEO and founder Hiroshi Mikitani said: “Basically, our concept is to recreate the network of retailers and merchants. We do not want to disconnect [them from their customers] but function as a catalyst.

“That is our philosophy, how to empower society, not just provide more convenience.”

Earlier this month it emerged that money laundering in Japan has been rife over the past year.

The Japan Times reported that more than 7,000 money laundering cases involving digital assets were reported to the police in 2018.

This marks a 1,000% rise from 2017, when just 669 cases were reported in a shorter period between April and December.

Among the 7,096 suspicious transactions, some of the suspects were found to be using the same ID photos despite using different names and dates of birth, while others had sent the transactions from overseas despite being registered as living in Japan.

In total, of the 417,465 cases of suspected money laundering that were reported to authorities, just 1.7% of them involved cryptocurrency.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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