Rakuten Awarded License for New Crypto Wallet and Exchange

Rakuten license crypto wallet exchange cryptocurrency Everybody's Bitcoin

E-commerce group Rakuten has been awarded a license to operate a virtual currency exchange for its new Rakuten Wallet service, in a move that will see the firm push forward with plans for its crypto wallet.

The Japanese retail giants will be shuttering their Everybody’s Bitcoin wallet service following the approval from regulators, after acquiring the firm for $2.4 million back in August of last year.

Announcing the news earlier this week, Japan’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency, said Rakuten Wallet was now registered as an exchange service under the Payment Services Act.

The registration is overseen by the Kanto Local Financial Bureau, and will enable Rakuten Wallet to operate as a legitimate exchange within Japan’s tightly regulated cryptocurrency sector.

Rakuten rebranded the Everybody’s Bitcoin service at the start of this month, with existing users free to sign up for the new Rakuten Wallet service from April.

Everybody’s Bitcoin had been operating on the basis of it being a “deemed cryptocurrency exchange” since March 2017, the same month it applied for its original license. Since then, the firm was warned over internal processes by local regulators, who submitted a business improvement order the following year.

Rakuten has said they have been working to upgrade business processes and management systems as a result of the business improvement order, confirming they have “officially restructured” in order to comply with the requests of regulators.

Around the same time, the FSA also issued a license to DeCurret, an exchange that counts some of Japan’s biggest financial companies among its shareholders, including MUFG Bank and Daiwa Securities Group.

Earlier this year, the FSA granted license approval to Coincheck, the previously hacked exchange that was hit by losses of over $530 million. With the latest approvals, the FSA has confirmed the total number of licensees now stands at 19.

There is currently no suggestion which cryptocurrencies will be supported by Rakuten Wallet, although the service is widely expected to be used in conjunction with payments through the firm’s online sales channels.

It remains unclear whether Rakuten will proceed with mainstream cryptocurrencies, or whether there will also be support for a Rakuten-issued cryptocurrency.