Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Taotao is expected to go live at noon on May 30th, 2019 according to the company’s official Twitter page.
The new trading platform is backed by Yahoo Japan, marking the local internet giant’s arrival into the field of crypto. The timing comes now that the market just dropped the bear market tag.
The Yahoo Japan-backed platform was first mentioned in March 2018, when local newspaper Nikkei Asian Review reported on the corporation’s plan to acquire 40% of BitARG, a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange, and to subsequently launch its own full-fledged platform “in April 2019 or later.”
It was reported that the purchase of BitARG shares would be made through Tokyo’s YJFX, a retail foreign exchange broker wholly owned by Yahoo Japan, Nikkei revealed. Yahoo Japan, in turn, is a joint venture run by American internet company Yahoo and Japanese holding company SoftBank. It is reportedly the largest internet provider and payment processor in the country, which surpasses Google and PayPal in the respective fields.
Initially, BitARG denied such a deal was taking place, but the acquisition was soon confirmed both by Yahoo Japan and BitARG. According to different reports, the 40% stake cost the internet corporation between 2 and 3 billion yen (around $19-27 million).
According to Nikkei, YJFX senior managers and engineers were sent to BitARG in April 2018 with the aim of reportedly developing the new exchange system and work “on a corporate governance structure, a customer management system and internal controls.” The new exchange was expected to be “newly built but based on BitARG’s system,”
Starting from March 2019, prospective users could sign up for a Taotao account and participate in a promotional giveaway scheme. The platform had originally planned its debut in mid-May but then postponed the launch at the last minute.
The exchange will be open for Japan-based clients only. It is unclear if it ever intends to expand to other countries.