bitARG Exchange Tokyo Denies Reports Of Purchase By Yahoo! Japan Subsidiary
On March 23, 2018, a number of news outlets reported that bitARG Exchange Tokyo Co. Ltd. (株式会社ビットアルゴ取引所東京) planned to accept investment next month from YJFX, a subsidiary of Yahoo! Japan that operates foreign exchange transaction services. However, in a notice posted to the bitARG website, representative director Yoon Hee Yuan refuted Nikkei's report on the matter and said that the exchange (which is not yet functional) has not agreed to any deals.
"Based on the recent developments in the virtual currency industry, we are studying various possibilities, including investments and partnerships with other companies, in order to further strengthen our system and management, but we have not made any decisions at present," he wrote.
bitARG specifically refuted a report from Nikkei Asian Review, which alleged that the exchange would sell a 40-percent stake in its business to Yahoo! Japan next month. Nikkei contended that the companies had reported their partnership to Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA).
The FSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Nikkei also reported that Yahoo! Japan planned to launch its own exchange (based on the bitARG platform) in April 2019 or later. ETHNews could not independently verify this information by the time of publication.
For now, it appears that bitARG is not an active exchange. Although the cryptocurrency trading platform was approved by the FSA in December 2017 (registration number: 00011), a statement on the bitARG website explains that the company is preparing for business and will contact its customers when its "business start date" has been decided.
A glance at the bitARG website suggests that there is no trading API in place, and there are no cryptocurrency price trackers, which are typically prominent on other cryptocurrency exchanges.
Earlier this month, ETHNews reported that 16 FSA-approved cryptocurrency exchanges would form a self-regulatory organization, which will come together later this spring.
At present, Japanese Virtual Currency Business Operators Association website lists bitARG as a regular member.
Based on this listing, it appears that bitARG has 10 million yen (or just over $95,000) in capital. That is the minimum capital holding for a cryptocurrency exchange, as required by the FSA. Other exchanges report significantly larger amounts of capital.
Japanese statements approximately translated with the assistance of Google.
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