Business 26 October 2018

Dennis Wafula

Japan’s SBI lays out plans for proprietary crypto wallet

Japanese financial services giant SBI Group has teamed up with blockchain security startup Sepior to create a “secure online wallet” for its recently launched cryptocurrency exchange.

SBI Group announced the agreement to license Sepior’s Threshold-Sig Wallet Security technology. According to the Japanese company, SBI and Sepior will jointly develop a proprietary wallet to secure the online contents and transactions on SBI’s Virtual Currencies exchange platform, VCTRADE.

Sepior said its threshold technology uses signatures based on multiparty computation (MPC) to provide a high level of wallet security. MPC is a cryptographic method that allows secrets to be shared between different parties without revealing the secrets. Sepior’s key protection approach involves eliminating the need for any device or entity to possess the entire private key at any time, making it effectively impossible for an attack to result in key theft.

Currently, SBI Virtual Currencies is the first cryptocurrency exchange in Japan that is backed by a bank. Sepior’s threshold wallet enables rapid signing of transactions involving many parties.

Yoshitaka Kitao, CEO and president of SBI Holdings, said, “After extensive investigation, our security research team determined threshold signatures based on multiparty computation (MPC) offered our desired level of security, performance, and scalability needed to manage transactions for our growing SBI Virtual Currencies customer base.”

Ahmet Tuncay, CEO of Sepior, also commented on the new partnership, which he said will help set new industry benchmarks for security, performance and privacy for cryptocurrency exchanges.

SBI Holding and its subsidiaries have been actively involved in the cryptocurrency space. In March, the company purchased a 40 percent stake in Taiwan-based manufacturer of cold wallets CoolBitX. In May, SBI Group decided to back LastRoots, a cryptocurrency exchange that was being watched by authorities. SBI officials stated that their decision to invest in the company was mainly to help the exchange improve its internal systems so that it can eventually get approval from the authorities.

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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