Yahoo Japan is the largest Internet provider/payment processor in the country, where it has a bigger presence than Google in search and mail services and supplies more financial transactions than PayPal. The company’s arrival to Japan’s lucrative cryptocurrency market comes at a time when major exchanges are being investigated by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) following a hack on cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, in which more than $530 million worth of NEM was stolen.
The list also includes the 16 exchanges that are already fully licensed by the FSA and another 16 that have yet to obtain a license, but are currently under review by the agency.
YJFX is 100 percent owned by Yahoo Japan. The retail FX brokerage was started in 2003 and is part of the parent company’s financial and payment-related services. The unit is part of the ‘Other Business’ segment of Yahoo Japan, which accounts for eight percent of the revenue and five percent of the net income of the parent firm. In 2015, the business segment generated about $270 million in revenue with an operating income amounting to $96.6 million.
Previously, Japan had passed favorable cryptocurrency regulations, and these two factors have led several mainstream companies to begin developing cryptocurrency exchanges. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), the largest financial institution in Japan as measured by assets under management (AUM), is readying plans to launch an exchange, regional media sources reported in January. Line, a Japan-based chat app with more than 600 million registered users, also announced in January that it planned to create a cryptocurrency exchange that would operate not only in Japan but also Hong Kong and Luxembourg.
Finally, Japanese banking group SBI intends to build its own exchange, though it recently delayed the launch so it could strengthen its security measures — a move that came in response to increased scrutiny from the FSA.
As CCN reported, the FSA has ramped up enforcement of the cryptocurrency trading industry in the months following a record-setting theft at Tokyo exchange Coincheck.
Most recently, the FSA issued a formal warning to Hong Kong-based exchange Binance for unlawfully operating in Japan without a license.