Japan’s Retail Giant Rakuten Officially Launches Crypto Exchange

Three cryptocurrencies are now available for spot trading, with a smartphone app set to follow.

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Rakuten Wallet has launched trading a year after acquiring Everybody’s Bitcoin.

Three trading pairs go live

Confirmed in a press release on Aug. 19, Rakuten Wallet, which is a subsidiary of Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, said spot trading of three cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) — was now live. 

In future, developers plan to release an app for iOS and Android, use of which will be mandatory for deposits and withdrawals. 

“Customers who already have a bank account with Rakuten Bank will be able to easily open a Rakuten Wallet account simply by entering the required information on the online application form,” the press release added.

Rakuten acquired Everybody’s Bitcoin in August 2018 for a sum of $2.4 million. Executives had originally announced the impending launch in April this year, but progress appeared to stall. 

Japan’s cryptocurrency ecosystem growing rapidly

The exchange joins a rapidly expanding ecosystem on the Japanese market, with multiple competitors vying for a slice of the domestic cryptocurrency trade.

Last month, Tokyo announced it wished to create a cryptocurrency-based analog to SWIFT, the global payment settlement network, in a move subsequently approved by the G7. 

Monex Group, the online broker which bought out another Japanese exchange, the embattled Coincheck, last year, also recently signalled its desire to join Facebook’s Libra digital currency network.

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Author: William Suberg

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