Japanese Banking Giant SBI Plans to Launch Cryptocurrency Exchange in Summer

According to reports, the Japanese financial services giant SBI Group has released the “SBI Virtual Currency” plan, which will launch cryptocurrency exchange this summer.

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According to the report from Japan Business Insider Network, Yoshitaka Kitao, president of SBI Holdings, confirmed the full launch of the long-awaited SBI virtual currency plan, which will be the country’s first fully cryptocurrency exchange owned by banks . The senior executive disclosed the news at a press conference on April 26th and stressed that the exchange is planned to be launched in Japan from June to September this year.

Yoshitaka at the press conference, SBI Virtual Currencies will support bitcoin, ripple, ethereum, bitcoin cash and other cryptocurrencies. Yoshitaka also served as executive chairman, chief executive officer and president of SBI Holdings. He actively claimed that bank-backed exchanges will soon occupy a place in the thriving and highly competitive Japanese digital currency ecosystem.

He reportedly said, in roughly translated statements:

“When we do it, it will be number one in the blink of an eye so quickly, so even if a tremendous number of customers come, we can build a system that can bear. [sic] We have to pursue safety thoroughly.”

SBI Group announced for the first time that it plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange in October 2016 and established SBI Virtual Currency Co., Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan on November 1, 2016 with a registered capital of 300 million yen (approximately US$2.85 million).

However, although the company has already completed registration with the Japanese financial regulator as a cryptocurrency exchange operator, there have been some delays in the launch of cryptocurrency exchanges.

In late February 2018, the SBI Group decided to step up security measures to better protect customer assets, thus delaying the launch of the Exchange. One month prior to the announcement, the Coincheck of the Tokyo-based cryptocurrency Exchange incurred a theft of a NEM token and the loss amounted to US$530 million.

In March, SBI Holdings acquired 40% ownership stake of Taiwan’s cryptocurrency hardware wallet company CoolBitX. CoolBitX’s main product is CoolWallet, which can connect to other devices via Bluetooth.

SBI Holdings had previously invested in bitFlyer, the largest and most abundant cryptocurrency exchange in Japan. SBI Holdings has also launched SBI Ripple Asia, a company based in San Francisco, to help develop and lead banks in ASEAN countries and other regions to complete cross-border payments through the blockchain.


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