Singapore Millionaire Buys Japanese Crypto Exchange BitTrade

Eric Cheng will become the first foreign investor to get a 100% stake in an FSA-regulated company.

by Nina Dimitrova
01 June • 2 mins
In Markets

Eric Cheng, a Singapore entrepreneur and self-made millionaire, has acquired the Japanese-regulated cryptocurrency exchange BitTrade, the company said.

The price Cheng paid for the 100% controlling stake in BitTrade’s parent company FX Trade Financial Co., Ltd is SGD 67 million (around USD 50 million). FX Trade Financial also runs a forex and binary options brokerage in Japan.

With the acquisition, Cheng becomes the first foreign investor to hold a 100% stake in a Japanese Financial Service Agency (FSA)-licensed trading platform, BitTrade said in a statement.

The deal will allow both trading platforms – the cryptocurrency and the forex - to aggressively scale up and provide more trading options and services and expand their global presence.

“The crypto currency industry is growing exponentially. Against this backdrop, the key to capturing the rising demand is having a well-regulated and licensed outfit,” Cheng said. “With this Japanese FSA-licensed platform, I will work closely with the regulators to scale this platform globally.”

BitTrade was founded in 2016 and is one of the 16 FSA-regulated cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan. It has a fairly extensive portfolio that includes Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Ether, Litecoin, and Monacoin. They can be traded against the JPY or each other.

Cryptocurrency trading in Japan is very popular among the population. According to a recently published study of the FSA among the regulated exchanges, in 2017 the crypto trading volume amounted to almost USD 6 billion. Data of the Japanese tax office, based on the tax returns for 2017, shows that over 300 individuals in Japan earned over USD 1 million from crypto trading.

Eric Cheng is the founder and CEO of the Sevens Group of companies, which invests in real estate development, automobiles and other investments.