Yahoo Japan, the Japanese division of global media company Yahoo, has announced its intention to establish a cryptocurrency exchange, according to reports emerging today. The company is preparing to buy a 40% stake in BitARG Exchange Tokyo, in a move that would see Yahoo Japan embark on the initial development stages of a new exchange, to be developed on existing BitARG technology, Nikkei Asian Review reported. Analysts have suggested the move could lead to a wider ‘realignment’ in the cryptocurrency exchange space in Japan, with the Yahoo model likely to become a significant operator in the space once a market-ready exchange is ultimately launched. Yahoo Japan confirms the plans would see development work begin in earnest, with a proposed timeline to launch of April 2019 at the earliest. The news follows denials earlier in the week from BitARG that a deal had already been signed. The agreement will see Yahoo Japan take a 40% stake in the firm at a cost of around JPY2 billion (US$19 million). The share purchase is to be facilitated through Yahoo’s forex transaction platform YJFX, and looks set to be concluded next month. BitARG is accredited Japan’s Financial Services Agency, which would enable Yahoo Japan to get more immediate access to the market without working through the licensing process in their own right. It is expected that Yahoo Japan will also provide further investment for the project in the months to come. Registration is particularly significant in light of the recent warnings issued by the regulator to competing firm Binance, which remains unregulated in Japan. Similarly, this comes at a time of increasingly intense crackdowns from the Japanese financial regulator, which has focused on registration and compliance with local financial and securities laws in recent months. Upon purchase, Yahoo Japan will send a team from its YJFX division to work on the project, primarily focusing on the development of the exchange, in addition to setting up systems for customer management and corporate governance, according to reports. While April 2019 has been offered as a target date for launch, Yahoo Japan has already suggested that the timeline is flexible, and reliant on the successful development of the exchange technology.