Rakuten Wallet yet to commence operations, tech issues persist

Maria Nikolova

The company says it continues to enhance the security of the services ahead of their official launch but tech issues keep emerging.

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Rakuten Wallet, formerly known as Everybody’s Bitcoin, has made another announcement about the pending launch of its services, saying once again that it keeps working on security enhancements. There was no specification, however, on the precise date of the service start.

Rakuten Wallet, which is owned Rakuten Inc (TYO:4755), has earlier this year completed the registration process as a virtual currency exchange in Japan. And yet, the start of the operations has been postponed.

Today saw another announcement issued by the company without any specification on the date of the launch. The single comment the company made was that it is working on improving the services before their official commencement and that it will try to launch these as soon as possible.

The announcement was published shortly after Rakuten Wallet reported technical issues plaguing the use of My Page and account opening. The issues were reported on July 27, 2019. The problems started around 6am in the morning and were resolved more than 13 hours later – around 19:25 (local time).

Rakuten first announced its plans to acquire Everybody’s Bitcoin in August 2018.

Commenting on the deal’s rationale, Rakuten said it expects that the role of cryptocurrency-based payments in e-commerce, offline retail and in P2P payments will grow in the future. In order to provide cryptocurrency payment methods smoothly, the company believes it is necessary to provide a cryptocurrency exchange function. Furthermore, a number of customers, in particular foreign exchange customers, of Rakuten Securities, the securities company of the Rakuten Group, have been calling for the provision of a cryptocurrency exchange service, which is also part of the background of the Rakuten Group considering entry into the cryptocurrency exchange industry.

The deal was announced about four months after the Japanese authorities issued a business improvement order against Everybody’s Bitcoin Inc. The administrative sanctions were imposed following on an on-site inspection conducted by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA). The check concerned the risk management system of the company. The inspection had detected a series of non-compliance issues, including problems with keeping statutory books, insufficient provision of information to clients, AML issues, lack of control over system risks, as well as problems with internal audits.

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