SBI Launches Japan’s First Bank-Owned Crypto Exchange

Major Japanese financial services company SBI Holdings has finally cut the ribbon on the first-ever bank-backed cryptocurrency exchange in Japan, 15 months after it was initially announced back in 2016.

In an announcement made by SBI, the finance giant revealed that VCTRADE is now open for the 20K users that pre-registered for the platform as far back as October 2017. SBI plans to open VCTRADE’s doors to regular account applications starting in July 2018.

The new platform will utilize NASDAQ’s transaction matching system, and transaction fees are said to be non-existent. However, there will still be fees on withdrawals. SBI is working with SECOM Group to build a secure crypto custody system.

SBI says that it will focus on the trading of XRP, the native token of Ripple, but in the future will add support for bitcoin and bitcoin cash. No firm date or timeline was given for when additional cryptocurrencies will be added to trade by the newly launched exchange.

It is worth pointing out that SBI Holdings has been experimenting with Ripple’s blockchain in a pilot program along with 38 banks and 23 other firms, to trial the technology for real-time gross settlement of financial transactions. The move for VCTRADE to trade primarily with XRP tokens aligns with the company’s pilot program. 

SBI had planned to launch the exchange after it completed its registration process with Japan’s Financial Services Agency, but was postponed to bolster its security systems after the FSA called for stricter regulation after Coincheck, another Japanese crypto exchange, was hacked for over $500 million in NEM tokens.