Strategic Business Innovator Group (SBI) is a Tokyo-based financial company group listed on the first section of the Osaka Securities Exchange and Tokyo Stock Exchange. As the company has become a powerful whale of Japanese financial world, the history of SBI’s acquaintance with cryptocurrency is worth noting.
In October 2016, SBI Holdings first entered into the blockchain arena with the introduction of SBI Virtual Currencies, a wholly owned subsidiary of SBI Holdings conceived as the country’s first crypto exchange that is fully backed by a major financial institution. A year later in September 2017, the banking giant also registered itself with Japan’s Financial Service Agency to ease the process of the exchange’s launch.
However, in February the company announced the postponement of an exchange opening due to some security concerns. In the wake of infamous Coincheck hack, a vast array of cryptocurrency related exchanges and companies were suffering from a major increase in the rise of attacks and frauds. So concentrating on security of the platform was an important aspect of the company.
Notably at that time, SBI Virtual Currencies canceled a partnership with crypto exchange Huobi. The dissolved collaboration resulted in SBI not being able to use Huobi’s financial and technological resources to support their exchange. This might be listed as another reason for the delayed announcement.
Nevertheless, despite all the fuss, last month Coinspeaker reported SBI’s official launch of their in-house bank-backed cryptocurrency exchange branded VCTRADE, which supposed to trade the indigenous XRP token derived from the Ripple protocol. Yet only a group of pre-registered users was allowed to trade on the newly announced VCTRADE exchange.
In the statement made on Tuesday, SBI Holdings said the exchange signup is now fully open for Japanese residents aged from 20–70, while applications for establishing accounts from corporate customers are not currently accepted, but the company also stressed that VCTRADE will be available for a wider public till July 2018.
For now, the exchange’s primary focus is on Ripple trading. After this, VCTRADE is going broaden trading with yen-based pairs of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash on June 8 and 15, respectively.
SBI Holdings’ decision is not a surprise considering the institution’s wider support for San Francisco-based cryptocurrency Ripple that utilized a distributed ledger to streamline cross-border payments. With that in mind, it is safe to say that the confirmation of SBI Holdings’ exchanges and their trading of Japanese yen against XRP will also have major consequences.
This will probably have a very positive result for Ripple that is currently trading for $0.5 based on data from CoinMarketCap.com. Following the lauch of VCTRADE, some say its price might go up to $10 before the year ends. Obviously, this will be a great win for XRP, and the only thing standing in its way right now is time itself.