GMO Internet pushes into virtual currencies with launch of GMO Wallet

GMO Internet pushes into virtual currencies with launch of GMO Wallet

The company is set up in a moment when virtual currencies in Japan benefit from milder regulatory environment.

GMO Internet Inc. (TYO:9449) announced today that it is entering in the virtual currency exchange and trading business with the launch of GMO Wallet Co., Ltd.

In its official announcement, GMO Internet stresses the remarkable growth in the market for virtual currencies like Bitcoin and Ethernet as a crucial factor for entering this segment.

The company also highlights the improved regulatory environment in Japan with regards to virtual currencies. Indeed, as FinanceFeeds has pointed out in an earlier report, the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) is about to make a landmark move and treat Bitcoin as an actual currency instead of a type of goods (commodity) or services. GMO Internet noted in today’s announcement that transactions with virtual currencies are set to be exempt from certain taxes, underlining the business rationale for the move. The change is expected to happen this spring.

Of course, this is not the first time that a giant like GMO is in corporate touch with the virtual currencies market. To give one example, in February last year, GMO Internet launched a business partnership with Tech Bureau to develop back-end engine for games based on Tech Bureau’s private blockchain technology.

Blockchain seems to be the focus of many companies in Japan now. In the end of November 2016,

Tokyo Stock Exchange, Inc. (TSE) announced that TSE, Osaka Exchange, Inc. (OSE) and Japan Securities Clearing Corporation (JSCC) were forming a consortium of Japanese financial institutions to keep conducting proof of concept (PoC) testing and explore the possibility of applying blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) to capital market infrastructure both from technical and operational perspectives.

JPX established an internal research group in 2015 to study the applicability of DLT to capital market infrastructure. The research concluded that DLT has the potential to transform the capital market structure.

GMO Internet promises that GMO Wallet will provide a safe and secure virtual currency trading environment by making full use of the know-how of GMO Internet.

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