Business 20 June 2018

Ed Drake

SBI Virtual Currencies exchange adds support for Bitcoin Cash, BTC

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange SBI Virtual Currencies has listed Bitcoin Cash (BCH), along with SegWit BTC coin, increasing the currently available trading pairs on its Vctrade platform from one to three. SBI Virtual Currencies is a subsidiary of Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings.

On June 8, the platform began offering a Bitcoin BCH-Japanese yen trading pair for the first time. A week later, on June 18, SBI Virtual Currencies added another pair, BTC/JPY, on its Vctrade service. The two trading pairs join the XRP/JPY trading, which the exchange offered at its launch earlier this month. With the inclusion of Bitcoin BCH, and subsequently now support for BTC, the exchange will now appeal to a wider range of traders and cryptocurrency consumers in Japan.

At the moment, the platform is available only to a select band of pre-approved traders, with a full launch penciled in for July.

Trading volumes of between JPY500 (US$4.54) and JPY5 million (US$45,355) are available, and according to initial social media reports, the spreads are competitive. Further reports suggest SBI could be gearing up to offer support for ETH in the weeks ahead, with the possibility of more cryptocurrencies in future. However, the group refused to endorse smaller cryptocurrencies, and said these would not be supported through their system in future.

On its website, SBI Holdings said the crypto exchange adopts NASDAQ’s transaction system to provide “the world’s highest level of low-latency trading environment.” SBI Virtual Currencies promises to deliver “the narrowest spreads level.”

The launch marks a further step in the maturity of cryptocurrencies in Japan. SBI Virtual Currencies is one of only 16 exchanges in Japan to have received the necessary government approval to offer cryptocurrencies, and the early support for multiple major cryptocurrencies is a statement of intent from the firm, which aims to replicate its success in other financial services within the cryptocurrency space.

When the platform fully launches next month, it will mark the culmination of a launch process afflicted by both technical and regulatory delays, with SBI taking a cautious approach to getting the systems right. And with support for bitcoin BCH now on stream, it looks like the exchange could be primed to grow into the burgeoning Japanese crypto market.

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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