Singapore entrepreneur Eric Cheng buys Japan’s FX, crypto currency exchange for $50m

Bitcoin (virtual currency) coins are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Singapore-based real estate entrepreneur Eric Cheng has acquired 100 per cent stake in two Japanese licensed companies that operate foreign exchange and crypto currency trading for $50 million (S$67 million).

With the acquisition, Cheng, the CEO of Upper Joyful Ltd, will own controlling stake in the two firms — FX Trade Financial Co Ltd (FX Trade) and its affiliate company, BitTrade Co Ltd, an announcement said on Wednesday.

FX Trade, set up in 2006, is a Japanese forex trading platform while BitTrade is one of the only 16 regulated and Japanese government-approved crypto currency trading platforms seeking to capture the growing demand for crypto currency trading.

Cryptocurrency platforms having been officially legalised last year by the Japanese government.

The enlarged platform is expected to reap synergies amid rising demand for trading in forex and crypto currencies that has swept across the globe. In addition, nearly one-third of global bitcoin transactions in December 2017 were denominated in yen.

In a similar acquisition, media giant Yahoo Japan invested between $18.5 million and  $27.8 million for a 40 per cent stake in BitARG, a crypto currency exchange which holds a license from the country’s Financial Service Agency to operate a domestic crypto currency trading platform.

“The management team of both platforms will aggressively scale up to provide more trading options and services, enhance its international user-friendly experience. Leveraging on Cheng’s extensive network, the team will also scale the platform in other regions across the globe,” the announcement said.

Cheng is the Founder and CEO of the Sevens Group of companies which invests in real estate development, automobiles among others.  He is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur and a multi-millionaire through his global real estate investments.

Cheng commented: “The crypto currency 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.”

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