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Rakuten's Crypto Exchange Starts Registration For Opening New Accounts

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Japanese e-commerce major Rakuten said account registrations for trading cryptocurrencies on the company's Rakuten Wallet are now open. The cryptocurrency exchange is expected to begin operations later in the month.

The exchange services will be provided by Rakuten Wallet, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rakuten, Inc.

The registration is currently open for existing members of the Rakuten Bank, which is a part of the Rakuten group. Meanwhile, other users will have to go through Know Your Customer (KYC) process before being able to register themselves on the platform.

In late March, Rakuten Wallet had completed the registration process as a virtual currency exchange service provider with the Kanto Local Finance Bureau (KLFB), based on the Payment Services Act.

In August last year, Rakuten bought 100 percent stake in the local crypto exchange "Everybody's Bitcoin, Inc." for 265 million yen or $2.4 million through its subsidiary Rakuten Card.

Everybody's Bitcoin has been operating as a deemed cryptocurrency exchange since March 2017 and was waiting for approval of the official registration.

In April 2018, Everybody's Bitcoin was issued a business improvement order by KLFB and it has now officially restructured its management system, including formulating a business improvement plan and strengthening its business management and internal control systems to be eligible to register as a "virtual currency exchange services provider".

Everybody's Bitcoin then changed its trading name to Rakuten Wallet, Inc. as of March 1, 2019, and stopped its service at the end of March. Users can now open new accounts for the new service, which is now reportedly expected to start operations only in June 2019.

Rakuten has been considering entry into the cryptocurrency exchange industry for some time. Also, a growing number of foreign exchange customers of Rakuten Securities, the securities company of the Rakuten Group, have been calling for the provision of a cryptocurrency exchange service.

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