Tech

Steve Kaaru

Japan’s SBI Group sets up crypto mining chip operation

Japan’s financial giant SBI Group has set up a spin-off that will manufacture crypto mining chips. In its announcement, SBI revealed that the new operation will be headed by ex-NASA and serial entrepreneur, Adam Traidman.

SBI has in recent years involved itself heavily in the crypto and blockchain industry. Its latest venture will help solidify its position as one of the industry’s heavyweights.

“The SBI Group strongly promote on a wide range of businesses based on the digital asset, including cryptocurrency exchange business and other blockchain related businesses,” part of the statement read.

The new spin-off will be named SBI Mining Chips Ltd. and will be based in Tokyo. It will partner with a “large semiconductor enterprise in the U.S” which it refrained from disclosing. SBI also promised to support and promote reliable, efficient and sustainable mining operations in order to help build a sound and solid crypto market.

Traidman will bring a wealth of experience into the operations, having had a very decorated past. In the past, he has worked with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). After leaving NASA, he went into entrepreneurship, becoming a Silicon Valley household name for over 20 years.

Among the companies that he has started include Chip Estimate, a semiconductor chip design company which he sold to multinational electronic giant Cadence Design Systems. He was also behind the success of BRD, a crypto wallet that SBI Group has invested in.

SBI Group has been one of the biggest investors in the crypto industry. In its latest crypto venture, it partnered with blockchain consortium R3 to help boost the adoption of Corda blockchain in the East Asian region. SBI is the largest shareholder in R3, a consortium which brings together global giants including Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Mitsubishi UFJ Group, Barclays and IBM.

SBI Mining Chips will be joining a market that has been notoriously dominated by Chinese ASIC giant, Bitmain. The Jihan Wu-led company commanded over 75% of the market share, with other companies struggling to make an impact.

This will not be SBI’s first involvement in the crypto mining industry. In early 2018, SBI Crypto began mining Bitcoin Cash (BCHABC) using Bitmain’s mining pool. The firm later ended the project.

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