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Another Japanese Finance Industry Player Joins the Cryptocurrency Fray

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

It seems that another big, non-crypto company just stepped onto Japan’s crypto scene.

Source: iStock/coffeekai

Daiko Holdings has become the latest Japanese firm to operate a cryptocurrency platform. SNC, operator of the Bitgate cryptocurrency exchange has transferred a controlling stake of 58.1% of its 100% stake in the company to Daiko Holdings.

Per an official Bitgate announcement, SNC will retain a minority 41.9% stake in the exchange.

Bitgate has also become an official subsidiary of the Daiko Holdings Group, which operates a wide range of financial and brokerage services, as well as marketing, hardware and rental car businesses.

The move is more significant when viewed against the backdrop of the past few years. Some of the country’s biggest conventional finance and brokerage services providers are now building cryptocurrency arms. In some cases, such as the SBI Group, they are creating their own platforms from scratch.

But, as is the case with the likes of the Monex Group – now the owner of the Coincheck exchange – some are preferring to acquire smaller, license-holding exchanges, due largely to the fact that the process for obtaining an operating license from the regulatory Financial Services Agency (FSA) has proven so difficult.

Others have pursued a hybrid approach. Fisco, a company that monitors Japanese stocks and provides investment advisory, launched its own crypto trading platform several years ago, but recently acquired rival platform Zaif – and is set to complete a merger in the coming weeks.

Bitgate was established in 2017, and was one of the first platforms to obtain a permit from the FSA. It exclusively handles bitcoin.

The exchange, one of Japan’s smaller platforms, had a decidedly mixed year in 2019, with many services suspended following what appears to have been a failed attempt to revamp.

Two of Daiko’s senior executives have been added to the Bitgate board of directors, along with the CEO of SNC.

Per a Daiko Holdings announcement, the business group has recently set up a crowdfunding subsidiary, with an initial USD 92,000 in capital.

Daiko Holdings also operates the Platmall e-commerce platform, which last year announced it would begin accepting cryptocurrency pay.