Many were startled when news broke earlier this month about Eric Cheng, a Singaporean entrepreneur and CEO of Sevens Group of Companies who apparently purchased 100% stake in BitTrade, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange. What raised eye brows was not merely the quantum of stack he purchased but the extents to which he went to ensure that this happened. News reports reveal that Cheng exhausted all his life savings, including the sales of some of his most valuable properties such as his Ferrari, Porsche, Rolls Royces and Lamborghini in his quest to acquire the 100% stake.
In what appears to be a similar purchase, Yahoo Japan is reported to have invested between $18.5 million to $27.8 million for a 40% stake in BitARG, ‘a crypto currency exchange which had also been granted a license from the country’s Financial Service Agency (FSA) to operate a domestic crypto currency trading platform.’
Cheng has reportedly stated that he harbors no regrets whatsoever about this audacious move that required that he spends a whopping $67 million of his life savings to acquire BitTrade. He also expressed his satisfaction with the transaction.
“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 FRS-licensed platform, I will work closely with the regulators to scale this platform globally”, Cheng noted.
BitTrade is one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan that have both been licensed and approved by the Financial Services Agency (FSA). Many consider the mandatory approval process as cumbersome and exorbitant to complete, and actually is a disincentive to many cryptocurrency exchanges looking to commence operations in Japan. It appears Cheng went the extra mile to acquire BitTrade because of the above mentioned factors.
Some cryptocurrency analysts have noted with concern the fact that some major cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Bitcoin that were once considered less volatile against reserve currencies like the euro and the US dollar as compared to small cryptocurrencies have fallen 65 percent from their all-time high.
It is this that makes some wonder why Eric Cheng and several other investors in the public market are willing to make audacious moves in their engagement with the cryptocurrency market. Last week, Digital Currency Group CEO Barry Silbert who is widely known to be involved in Coinbase, Blockchain and many other big cryptocurrency businesses reportedly stated that DCG`s investment arm – Grayscale raised $20 million in a single fundraising week, a feat that is generally considered to be the best fundraising week in 2018.
BitTrade is a Japan-based cryptocurrency exchange, founded in 2016 and is one of only 16 exchanges which have received both licenses and approval from FSA. BitTrade affords users the opportunity to closely monitor their accounts as often as possible via ‘technical indicators’ and ‘high-definition charting’ all on one platform that is generally considered easy to use. Merely at the touch of a finger, users can trade in Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Monacoin and Litecoin and several other cryptocurrencies.
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Images from Tech in Asia, 仮想通貨の日記