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A Singaporean national has acquired licensed Japanese cryptocurrency exchange BitTrade and affiliate FX brokerage FX Trade Financial in a S$67 million ($50 million) deal.

BitTrade, one of only 16 regulated cryptocurrency exchanges to earn a license from Japan’s Financial Services Agency – the country’s financial regulator and watchdog – has now been acquired as a whole by Singaporean real-estate millionaire and entrepreneur Eric Cheng.

In addition, Cheng has also completed a 100 percent acquisition of forex trading platform and BitTrade affiliate FX Trade Financial Co. In doing so, Cheng has become the first foreign national to hold a full stake in a trading platforms licensed by the Japanese government, a press release said.

In statements, Cheng announced his intention to expand BitTrade’s operations beyond Japan, saying:

“The cryptocurrency industry is growing exponentially. Against this backdrop, the key to capturing the rising demand is having a well-regulated and licensed outfit. With this Japanese FSA-licensed platform, I will work closely with the regulators to scale this platform globally.”

Further, the management of both platforms revealed their intent to “aggressively scale” operations and enable additional services with international user-friendly interfaces when expanding to new regions.

The acquisition comes during a period of heightened investment activity in Japan’s crypto space, particularly from mainstream corporate giants.

In April, Yahoo Japan announced a 40% stake in Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange BitARG, paving the way for the tech giant to enter the sector. Major mainstream brokerage Monex confirmed its 100% acquisition of Coincheck, despite the embattled exchange operator’s woes following a $530 million theft in crypto tokens earlier in January.

Japan’s most popular messaging app Line has also applied with the FSA to launch its own domestic crypto exchange in Japan.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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