Market Mad House

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche


Is Yahoo! Japan planning to buy 40% of a Cryptocurrency Exchange?

Yahoo! Japan might enter the cryptocurrency business in a big way. The search engine operator might be planning to buy 40% of BitARG Exchange.

Yahoo Japan wants to buy 40% of BitARG in April and open its own crypto exchange in 2019, Nikkei Asian Review reported on 23 March, 2018. BitARG Exchange Co. Ltd. denied the rumors in a press release issued on the same day, ETHNews reported.

YJFX, a subsidiary of Yahoo Japan that operates foreign exchange services was planning to spend around $19 million (two billion yen) for a 40% stake in BitArg, Nikkei Asian Review claimed. No details about the planned cryptocurrency exchange were reported.

BitARG is not an Active Exchange

Strangely enough, BitARG is apparently not an active cryptocurrency exchange; it has no exchange or trading mechanisms in place online.

Although, ETH News reported that BitARG is a registered cryptocurrency exchange with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). That means it is legal for BitARG to sell cryptocurrency in Japan. BitARG is a member of the  Japanese Virtual Currency Business Operators Association a trade group for the cryptocurrency industry.

A staffer walks through the reception area of Yahoo Japan Corp.’s new officies, located in the soon-to-open Tokyo Midtown business complex in Tokyo on Monday, 26 Mar., 2007.
Photographer: Robert Gilhooly/Bloomberg News

Therefore one has to wonder why Yahoo! Japan would have bought into the company in the first place. It sounds as if the Nikkei Asian Review is reporting rumor and hearsay as “news.”

Yahoo! Japan Corporation is owned jointly by Softbank (TYO: 9984) and Altaba. Altaba is an investment company formed by the American telecommunications giant Verizon (NYSE: VZ). The purpose of Altaba is to manage the assets of Yahoo! Verizon got when it bought the remains of that company.

It is not clear if either Softbank or Verizon is interested in cryptocurrency, although the Yahoo! Japan move might be their way of testing the altcoin waters. At least company BitMinutes is developing a utility token that can be used to buy airtime for mobile phones. Verizon might be considering developing its own token for smartphones.