The Japanese forex brokerage Money Partners Group (TYO:8732) announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the US company Payward, which operates the Kraken bitcoin exchange.
According to the memorandum, the forex broker will invest in Payward’s Japanese subsidiary Payward Japan by the middle of April a yet undisclosed sum. The investment will be used for increasing the capital of the company and promoting and expanding its business in Japan. Further details on the deal have not been revealed.
The initial partnership agreement between Money Partners Group and Payward Japan was reached in July last year. Under the agreement the two companies were to discuss business cooperation for establishing a service for bitcoin trading, bitcoin settlement service and derivative trading utilizing bitcoin as an underlying asset.
Money Partners Group is a holding company which is comprised of forex and contracts for difference (CFDs) broker Money Partners and financial system development company Money Partners Solutions. It serves both retail and institutional clients.
Payward was established in 2011 and is based in San Francisco. It operates one of the major bitcoin exchanges – Kraken. It trades bitcoins for EUR, USD, CAD, GBP and JPY. The exchange offers accounts for businesses and high volume individual traders. It also enables users to trade Bitcoin with other digital currencies, such as Litecoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Ripple, Namecoin, Stellar, and Ven. According to its website, it has more than 100 000 clients around the world.
This is the second Japanese investment Kraken attracts since the beginning of this year. In February the Japanese venture capital firm SBI Investment said it will invest in the company and lead a Series B round of financing for Payward. The terms of that deal were not disclosed either.
In recent times the investors are showing increasing interest in cryptocurrency technologies. Last week Elliptic, a fintech company, specializing in blockchain intelligence, announced it has raised $5 million from a Series A funding round.
Small wonder, considering that a growing number of developed countries are seeking ways to regulate the cryptocurrencies and to implement the distributed ledgers technologies, such as blockchain, as a more universal financial transaction technology.
Recently Russia’s central bank, which otherwise vehemently opposes the cryptocurrencies, set up a working group to look into the blockchain technology. At the same time the Japanese government is making the first steps towards acknowledging the bitcoin as legitimate currency, while major Japanese companies are launching cryptocurrencies exchanges and are starting to accept payments in bitcoin for consumer goods.