Rakuten, through its subsidiary Rakuten Card, has signed a stock purchase agreement with Traders Investment to acquire crypto-currency exchange Everybody’s Bitcoin.
Rakuten will purchase the crypto-currency exchange for JPY265m ($2.4m).
Under the agreement, Rakuten will acquire 5,100 Traders shares. It will become the 100% owner of Everybody’s Bitcoin. The deal is expected to be completed on 1 October 2018.
Launched in March last year, Everybody’s Bitcoin has not secured an official registration. It currently operates as a deemed exchange.
The business recently came under the scanner of Japan’s Financial Services Agency. It ordered the company to make business and security enhancements.
“Everybody’s Bitcoin aims to register officially as a cryptocurrency exchange. It decided to expand the business under the Rakuten Group to maximise synergies,” Rakuten said.
The deal is fuelled by increasing demand from customers, mainly foreign exchange customers. The firm expects the deal to have a negligible impact on its earnings.
“We expect that the role of cryptocurrency-based payments in e-commerce, offline retail and in P2P payments will grow in the future. In order to provide cryptocurrency payment methods smoothly, we believe it is necessary for us to provide a cryptocurrency exchange function. We have been considering entry into the cryptocurrency exchange industry as the Rakuten Group,” the e-commerce firm said.
In 2016, Rakuten purchased the intellectual property assets of British bitcoin payments startup Bitnet Technologies to launch a blockchain research lab in Belfast.