A subsidiary of Rakuten — the so-called Amazon of Japan and operator of one of the world’s largest e-commerce websites — has tapped blockchain analysis firm CipherTrace to help ensure anti-money laundering (AML) compliance on its cryptocurrency exchange, Rakuten Wallet.
The fledgling exchange platform, which first started accepting user registrations this spring, has been a major thread of interest throughout the wider cryptoeconomy in recent months, its launch being akin to Amazon starting a crypto exchange in America or Alibaba starting one in China.
Accordingly, Rakuten Wallet’s ascension indicates that Japan — where cryptocurrencies have proven more popular than almost anywhere else to date — is poised to hold its position near the vanguard of mainstream crypto adoption on the international stage.
Commenting on the news, CipherTrace chief executive officer Dave Jevans said that Rakuten Wallet’s AML partnership was a sign the platform’s leadership was indeed committed to winning over mainstream society:
“We have made significant strides as an industry to make the cryptocurrency market grow and become more trustable. Rakuten Wallet cares about its customers and will work with CipherTrace to make sure that exchanges have optimal protections for mainstream adoption. It is our hope that proper compliance, transparency and increased trust will lead to more and more participation in the global crypto market.”
For its part, CipherTrace has been making its own major inroads lately. The firm partnered with cryptocurrency exchange powerhouse Binance last month to help the platform further enhance its AML protections.
The company also recently released its Q1 2019 cryptoeconomy AML report to much ado. The blockchain investigators found that more than $350 million USD worth of cryptocurrency had already been stolen by the end of this year’s first quarter.
Notably, CipherTrace’s CEO Dave Jevans has also become an authoritative voice in the space. Earlier this year, a judge with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice qualified Jevans as Canada’s first expert witness on Bitcoin in a case related to dark web marketplace activity.
It’s what the firm can do and who’s running it that made CipherTrace an ideal partner for Rakuten Wallet, and it’s the blooming cryptocurrency ecosystem and its growing AML realities that’s made companies like CipherTrace an increasingly hot commodity for exchanges.
To that end, it’s not surprising Rakuten Wallet enlisted the help of CipherTrace’s tools and analysts. The only real question was which blockchain analysis firm was the platform’s leadership going to choose from.
One of the other major alternatives to choose from would have been Chainalysis, which raised $30 million USD in a fundraising round earlier this year — yet another sign that blockchain investigators are in vogue.
Another Japanese Exchange Is Catching Attention
Rakuten Wallet may be under the umbrella of the Amazon of Japan, but another new platform with a high-profile supporter is vying to serve cryptocurrency traders in the nation.
That platform is Taotao, and 40 percent of the exchange is owned by Yahoo! Japan through a company subsidiary. Taotao’s team announced over the weekend that the exchange’s service would be activating on Thursday, May 30th.
It remains to be seen whether Rakuten Wallet or Taotao will ultimately prove more popular among Japanese traders, but it’s clear in the least that Taotao has won over the good graces of Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), the country’s top financial regulator. The new exchange’s FSA registration number is 00001, indicating it was the first platform to pass the agency’s latest licensing process.
The emphasis on compliance comes at a good time for both Taotao and Rakuten Wallet. This month, an anonymous FSA official said the watchdog was carefully reviewing domestic crypto exchange’s AML procedures for any notable lapses before the G20 conference next month.