Business 2 May 2018

Erik Gibbs

Japan’s SBI Holdings to launch crypto exchange in summer 2018

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) recently began putting cryptocurrency exchanges under the microscope, causing two to shut down and others to permanently leave the country. While the agency may have had good intentions—to create regulations that would protect consumers—some of their policies were viewed as exaggerated. One financial company is willing to swallow the regulations and has announced that it will open a cryptocurrency exchange sometime this summer.

SBI Holdings, one of the largest financial services companies in Japan, will launch its SBI Virtual Currencies exchange, allowing investors to trade in Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and BTC. The company’s president, Yoshitaka Kitao, anticipates using BCH as the settlement currency, given the fact that BTC is expensive and “tiring as a settlement currency.” Kitao added that the exchange’s remittance currency would be XRP.

The official launch date has yet to be announced; however, Kitao said, “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.” The exchange comes after SBI initially announced plans for the SBI Virtual Currencies platform about a year and a half ago. In December, SBI said that it would be partnering with BTC trading platform Huobi and expected the exchange to be ready at some point early this year.

Following the FSA’s crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges, SBI was forced to delay the launch once more as it worked on ensuring that the platform would function in accordance with the new regulations.

SBI was established in 1999 and has several business entities. It is involved in Financial Services, Asset Management, biotechnology-related research and development and a wellness bank. The company reported revenue of just over $3 million for its latest fiscal year ending in March, representing an increase of just under $700,000 from the previous fiscal year.

Two months ago, SBI purchased 40% of cryptocurrency hardware wallet company, CoolBitX, out of Taiwan. The wallet company’s main product is the CoolWallet, which has the ability to interact with other devices over Bluetooth.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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