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Owned by Yahoo! Japan subsidiary, Taotao will start operating from May 25, allowing investors trade a limited range of cryptos.
Japan, one of the most highly developed countries and one of the world’s largest markets, will see the launch of Taotao exchange (formerly BitARG) that will start trading a limited range of cryptocurrencies in May.
40% owned by Z Corporation, a subsidiary of Yahoo! Japan, Taotao will allow users trade Bitcoin and Ethereum, as well as let them enter leveraged positions for such cryptos as XRP, BCH, and LTC.
Earlier, the exchange was known as Bit Argo Exchange Tokyo (BitARG). In March 2018, Nikkei reported that some employees of Yahoo! Japan would be dispatched to work on BitARG:
“Starting next month, YJFX executives and engineers will be dispatched to BitARG, where they will spend about a year developing the new exchange system. They will also work on a corporate governance structure, a customer management system and internal controls.”
Last April, Yahoo announced it would acquire a 40% stake in BitARG through its subsidiary Z Corporation. The price of the acquisition was not revealed, but some sources reported that the deal involved 2 billion JPY (around $19 million). In February 2019, Bit Argo was rebranded to TaoTao.
Currently, the exchange is running a pre-launch campaign to welcome new users. As a part of the campaign, Taotao will offer 1,000 JPY to 500 random users who trade over 250,000 JPY (about $2,270) through its platform.
The Japanese exchange will start accepting clients from May 25.
FSA Crypto Regulation
It is notable that Taotao has received approval from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). Logically enough, FSA made it mandatory for trading platforms to gain a license to operate, as last year, over $500 million worth of NEM tokens were stolen from Coincheck, recently acquired by Monex Group, and Japanese crypto exchange Zaif suffered a hack and lost $60 million in Bitcoins.
Last year, there were 190 companies looking to register as cryptocurrency operators with the FSA. Taotao is one of the few that managed to receive the FSA license to list virtual currencies against fiat. Tightening its grip on crypto regulation, FSA also barred such instruments as Bitcoin futures or Ethereum options to avoid stoke speculation.
Nevertheless, the financial watchdog seems to be optimistic about crypto ETFs. As we reported, the Financial Services Agency started gauging industry interest in ETFs tracking digital currencies.
Earlier this month, the Cabinet of Japan has approved new regulations for the crypto margin trading, making the trading rules on par with the regulations on the forex trading.
Cryptos as an Opportunity for Financial Institutions
Japan stays one of the most important markets for cryptocurrency exchanges. The activity of at least five major financial institutions and technology conglomerates like Bic Camera, Rakuten, SBI Holdings, GMO, and Yahoo! Japan is strongly tied to the cryptocurrency industry. As the most famous investor Ben Horowitz explained, these corporations consider cryptos as an asset class with a large potential:
“With crypto, it’s worse in most ways than the old computing platform in that it’s slow, it’s complex, it’s lacking a lot of features, but it has one feature that has never existed before and that is trust. Trust is super powerful. You don’t have to trust the government, Twitter, Facebook, or the other people on the network.
You just have to trust math. That opens a very interesting world for developers because you can develop applications like money. Nobody has been able to program money before.”
The investor believes that putting money in cryptos will probably result in a large benefit in the long-term, both in terms of profitability and strategy.