Announced Monday, Rakuten Wallet has gone live for trading in bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH) and bitcoin cash (BCH) against the Japanese yen via an Android mobile app. An iOS app is due to be released in the future, though no set timeline was provided.
Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten has launched its own exchange for crypto spot trading.
The firm said customer funds held by the subsidiary will be managed separately from its own, under the eye of its trust company, Rakuten Trust, and through savings accounts at Rakuten Bank.
Rakuten further stresses that users’ deposited cryptos will be held in cold, or offline, storage to minimize the risk of hacking. For added security, private keys are managed using a multisignature scheme, and two-step authentication is required when signing in and making withdrawals.
No fees are charged for making trades or deposits, which are conducted in real time, 365 days a year (excluding when maintenance is occurring), the firm says.
However, for fiat withdrawals, Rakuten Wallet will charge 300 JYN (around $2.80), and for crypto withdrawals it will charge at the (slightly arbitrary seeming) rates of: bitcoin at 0.001 BTC ($10.70), ether at 0.01 ETH ($2) and bitcoin cash at 0.01 BCH ($3.20), with conversions correct at time of writing.
The lack of fees on buying and selling cryptos should appeal to users making frequent trades.
Rakuten first revealed its exchange play in March, saying it had been awarded a license in Japan for its rebranded entity – an exchange platform called Everybody’s Bitcoin acquired for $2.4 million last August. In May, it partnered with blockchain analytics firm CipherTrace to help ensure regulatory compliance for the exchange.
Prime Trust to Arrange Banking for Customers of BlockQuake Crypto Exchange
BlockQuake, a New York digital asset exchange launched in beta, has partnered with Nevada-based trust company Prime Trust, the firm announced Wednesday.
Prime Trust began offering custody services for the crypto industry in late 2018, serving crypto firms like Binance, OKCoin and Bittrex to name a few.
Prime Trust will perform know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money-laundering (AML) checks for the exchange, as well as provide FDIC-insured bank accounts for the exchange’s customers. The custodian will also provide custody for customer fiat and cold storage for crypto.
Crypto-friendly banking services are extremely rare, in part because of the extra work that banks must complete to comply with know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. Prime Trust farms its deposits out to other banks to provide FDIC coverage for customers of crypto firms.
BlockQuake has begun a testing phase in which the exchange is open to a limited number of customers. The firm aims to launch fully sometime during Q2 2020, but in the meantime is testing its ability to conduct the legally-required KYC checks, hold deposits, execute trades and operate other features of its wallet.
“As cryptocurrency trading grows in popularity, the need to regulate the industry and mitigate risk for investors is paramount”, Antonio Brasse, CEO of BlockQuake, said in a press release. “We are seeing new cryptocurrency regulations come into play almost daily. There is also increasing demand to address security issues.”