Crypto Investor Lost USD 130m, Exchange Raid, New Blow to Bitcoin SV
It is shaping up to be another busy week for Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges, with reports of on-site audits at two leading platforms, further Bitcoin SV-related developments at another – and bad news for a man who has invested considerable amounts of money in the country’s exchange sector.
One of Japan’s richest businesspeople – and biggest blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiasts – appears to have lost USD 130 million on a personal Bitcoin investment. The Wall Street Journal says SoftBank Group founder Masayoshi Son bought BTC at what later proved to be the top of the market in 2017 and sold his holdings after the price crash of early 2018.
SoftBank is a major Japanese financial company, and is also the majority stakeholder in Yahoo Japan. The latter owns a 40% stake in the FSA-licensed BitARG platform, and plans to launch a Yahoo Japan-branded exchange in the near future.
SoftBank has made a number of blockchain investments, including funding for an Indonesian incubator project. The group also wants to create a blockchain-powered remittance service for its banking arm.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported on Tuesday that the Financial Services Agency (FSA) – the regulator charged with policing Japanese exchanges – has raided the offices of Huobi Japan and Fisco(FCCE) following management changes at both exchanges.
Reuters says “two sources familiar with the matter” confirmed that the FSA wants to look at the way the exchanges are dealing with “customer protection and anti-money laundering measures.” The FSA is also allegedly keen to ensure “legal compliance after management changes.”
Both operators were involved in takeover activities last year. Huobi took over BitTrade, renaming the exchange Huobi Japan. Fisco, meanwhile, bought out the rival Zaif platform following a crippling Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Monacoin hack that brought the latter to its knees in September last year.
Fisco is planning to merge its operations with Zaif later this year, but in the meanwhile, the latter has continued to do business, although a number of services remain suspended on the platform.
There was some good news for Zaif yesterday, however, as the company resumed trading in Monacoin for the first time since the attack – just over a month after it resumed Bitcoin Cash trading.
Elsewhere, rival exchange BitPoint has become the latest to announce it will not be issuing its Bitcoin Cash customers the Bitcoin SV tokens generated by last year’s hard fork. Last week, Cryptonews.com reported that SBI Virtual Currencies was adopting a similar policy toward Bitcoin SV after it decided to delist Bitcoin Cash.
BitPoint says it will instead convert all customer Bitcoin SV tokens into yen on Friday this week, at a rate of 6,166 yen to 1 Bitcoin SV. The exchange last week stated that it was “highly unlikely” that it would be listing Bitcoin SV in the future.