July 25, 2024
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Kakao Piccoma, a webtoon platform, has acquired 50% of Japan’s Sakura Exchange


Kakao Piccoma, a Japanese digital comics subscription service and a subsidiary of the Korean internet corporation Kakao, has acquired a 50% controlling share in Sakura Exchange Bitcoin, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange (SEBC).

According to local media sources, this puts Kakao the company’s largest shareholder, and the transaction is likely to let Kakao offer cryptocurrency services on its Piccoma webtoon platform, as well as grow aggressively into Web3. Piccoma is Japan’s largest webtoon platform, with consumer spending exceeding $1 billion in 2021 after six years on the market.

The price it paid for its exchange stake has not been revealed.

SEBC is one of only 30 crypto-asset exchanges licensed by the Financial Services Agency (FSA) in Japan, and it supports 11 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), XRP, and Litecoin (LTC) (LTC).

Kim Beom-soo, better known as Brian Kim, the founder of Kakao, stepped aside from the board of directors in mid-March to focus on the company’s affiliate brands, particularly the Kakao Piccoma brand in Japan. Kakao’s acquisition of SEBC is the company’s first merger and acquisition activity after Kim stepped down.

It has already expressed interest in the crypto area. Kakao launched two blockchain startups in Singapore last August: the Klaytn Foundation, a non-profit organization, and Krust, a worldwide accelerator for the implementation of blockchain technology.

Ground X, a Kakao blockchain subsidiary, won a central bank digital currency (CBDC) tender from the Bank of Korea in July 2021, making it the leading technology provider for blockchain-based digital won simulations.

Prior to that, the corporation was an early investment in the Upbit cryptocurrency exchange, which was the first to register with South Korea’s financial regulators.

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