Singaporean investor Eric Cheng recently acquired Japan-based FX Trade and its affiliate BitTrade, a regulated cryptocurrency exchange, for S$67 million (about US $50 million).
Notably, Cheng is the first foreign businessman to acquire a 100 percent stake in a Financial Services Agency (FSA) regulated exchange in Japan. FX Trade, which was established in 2006, is one of Japan’s largest forex trading companies, while cryptocurrency exchange BitTrade is among one of the 16 crypto trading platforms currently licensed by Japanese authorities.
Despite the bearish trend crypto markets have been enduring, Cheng is seemingly bullish. He stated:
“The cryptocurrency industry is growing exponentially. Against this backdrop, the key to capturing the rising demand is having a well-regulated and licensed outfit. With this Japanese FSA-licensed platform, I will work closely with the regulators to scale this platform globally.”
Focusing on Scaling
Reportedly, both FX Trade and BitTrade will be focusing on “aggressively” scaling their operations and maintaining a high level of security on their trading platforms. Managers of both exchanges will work on creating a user-friendly interface for both local and international traders. BitTrade’s business model will remain the same and the exchange will provide the same services it did before the acquisition.
Cheng’s multi-million dollar deal is not the first major cryptocurrency exchange acquisition in Japan. Last month Coincheck, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchanged that lost over $500 million worth of NEM tokens after being hacked, was acquired for $34 million by Monex.
Japan’s regulatory authorities have significantly increased their monitoring and scrutiny of crypto-related businesses, largely thanks to Coincheck’s hack. In 2014, the now-defunct Mt. Gox exchange revealed that 850,000 Bitcoins, now worth more than $6.2 billion, were missing and had probably been stolen.
These incidents sent serious shockwaves throughout the global cryptocurrency market and crypto exchanges worldwide have had to invest large amounts of resources in order to secure their trading platforms.