Strategic Business Innovator Group (SBI Group), a top financial services company in Japan plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange later this year. Reports from Business Insider Japan indicate that the cryptocurrency trading platform, ‘SBI Virtual Currencies’ will be unveiled sometime in the summer.
Yoshitaka Kitao, executive chairman and president of SBI Holdings, confirmed that the group will launch full operations during a press conference held last week. According to him, the trading platform will support bitcoin (BTC), ripple (XRP), ethereum (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH) and some other cryptocurrencies when launched.
SBI Virtual Currencies will be the first cryptocurrency exchange fully owned by a bank in Japan. Mr. Kitao said that this connection with a bank gives the exchange an edge to succeed and become number one in industry. In his address, he explained that the banking framework will allow the exchange cater for a huge influx of users without compromising safety standards.
The cryptocurrency launch has been a long time in the making. The exchange was registered with Japan’s Financial Service Agency (FSA) on September 29, 2017; one year after SBI Virtual Currencies Ltd was established. The exchange started limited service for some customers in January and planned a full launch for February. This launch was postponed after the infamous Coincheck hack that happened towards the end of January the management deciding to strengthen security measures.
Cryptocurrency regulations have been stricter since the attack with the FSA conducting more inspections. The FSA recently revealed that seven cryptocurrency exchanges seek to withdraw their applications to operate in the country.
SBI Holdings have been a major player in cryptocurrency and blockchain innovations. The group which currently partners with Ripple has major investments in Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, BitFlyer as well as CoolBitX, an innovative cryptocurrency wallet provider. The joint venture with Ripple, SBI Ripple Asia, helps develop and promote blockchain cross-border payments in Asia.