Yahoo Japan to buy minority stake in cryptocurrency exchange

FILE PHOTO: A website of Yahoo Japan Corp is seen on a computer screen in Tokyo August 19, 2009. REUTERS/Stringer

TOKYO (Reuters) - Yahoo Japan Corp said on Friday it would buy a minority stake in a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange, becoming the latest major Japanese financial services provider to shrug off security concerns and join the digital money industry.

Yahoo Japan, which is also the country’s biggest online auction site, said in a statement it would buy through a subsidiary a 40 percent stake in BitARG Exchange Tokyo, with services planned for launch in the autumn.

Yahoo Japan did not give details of the value of the investment. But a person familiar with the matter said it would likely total 2 billion to 3 billion yen (13.06 million pounds to 19.59 million pounds).

Shares in Yahoo Japan closed down 0.2 percent, against a 0.6 gain for the benchmark Nikkei average.

The deal comes after Japanese online brokerage firm Monex Group Inc said last week it would buy hacked cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck Inc for $34 million.

That saw Monex join other mainstream financial services providers such as larger peer SBI Holdings Inc and messaging app operator Line Corp in looking to enter the cryptocurrency industry.

Reporting by Thomas Wilson and Yoshiyasu Shida