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SBI Japan Soft-Launches the World’s First Bank-Backed Crypto Exchange

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by Darya Rudz · 3 min read
SBI Japan Soft-Launches the World’s First Bank-Backed Crypto Exchange
Photo: Pixabay

SBI Holdings launches VCTRADE, in-house bank-backed cryptocurrency exchange. Trading will initially only be available for Ripple. 20,000 potential users who pre-registered back in October of last year have already got access to the service.

Strategic Business Innovator Group (SBI), Japanese financial giant, announced that its in-house cryptocurrency exchange is now live,  after a long delay caused by safety concerns. SBI has launched its VCTRADE service which will focus on the trading of XRP, the indigenous token derived from the Ripple protocol, and the trade will sequentially add supports for bitcoin and bitcoin cash.

SBI Group is s a financial services company group based in Tokyo, Japan. SBI Group began in 1999 as SoftBank Investment, as a Softbank subsidiary at that time. SBI is listed on the first section of the Osaka Securities Exchange and Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The company’s major business is placed as the “Financial Service Business,” which provides financial products and related services mainly based on securities, banking, insurance and housing loans; the “Asset Management Business,” which invests in Japanese and overseas venture companies in the fields of IT, biotechnology, environment/energy and finance; and the “Biotechnology-related Business,” which develops cosmetics, health foods and drug discovery globally.

In October 2017, SBI Holdings announced launching its wholly-owned subsidiary – SBI Virtual Currencies – in order to provide the first cryptocurrency exchange that had the full support of a major financial institution.

However, SBI Virtual Currencies’ registration with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) was completed only in the end of September 2017. In a month, the company partnered with London crypto-payments company Wirex. The aim of the partnership was to provide Japanese customers with bitcoin and cryptocurrency payment cards.

In February of this year SBI announced that the opening would be delayed because of security concerns amid the Coincheck hack in late January. Moreover, the new service comes after SBI Virtual Currencies has canceled a partnership in March with crypto exchange Huobi that would use the latter’s financial and technological resources to launch VCTRADE.

According to the press release, VCTRADE is currently only open for about 20,000 users who have pre-registered with the platform in October 2017. The company expects the service to be accessible for a larger public in July of this year.

VCTRADE will start with the trading of Ripple’s token XRP.  Yoshitaka Kitao, President and CEO of SBI holdings, is very optimistic about this currency. He said: “XRP has a very clear use-case. It is faster, cheaper and more scalable than any other digital asset. I strongly believe it will become the global standard in digital currencies.”

Later, SBI will work towards supporting bitcoin and bitcoin cash.

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