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Kakao Piccoma, a Japanese digital comics subscription service and a subsidiary of Korean internet giant Kakao, has acquired a 50% controlling share in Sakura Exchange Bitcoin (SEBC), a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange. The sum paid by Kakao for its interest in the exchange has not been revealed.

Kakao now owns the most shares in the company. According to rumors in local media, the agreement would allow Kakao to offer cryptocurrency services on its Piccoma webtoon platform and aggressively expand into Web3.

In mid-March, Kim Beom-soo, Kakao’s founder, stood down from the board of directors. His motivation was to concentrate on the company’s affiliate brands, one of which was the Kakao Piccoma brand in Japan. Kakao’s acquisition of SEBC is the company’s first merger acquisition after the founder quit.

Before this deal, Kakao showed interest in the bitcoin area by launching two blockchain startups in Singapore in August of last year. The Klaytn Foundation, a non-profit organization, and Krust, a worldwide accelerator for blockchain technology adoption, are the two firms that Kakao has founded.

Kakao has a blockchain subsidiary, Ground X, which won a tender from the Bank of Korea in July last year to develop a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Ground X became the leading technology provider for blockchain-based digital win simulations due to this.

Kakao was also an early investor in the Upbit cryptocurrency trading platform, which was the first to register with South Korea’s financial regulations.

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