Japanese SBI Holdings has finally launched its planned in-house crypto exchange after months of several delays due to security and partnership issues.
The company had initially announced in October 2016 its plans to establish a subsidiary company dubbed SBI Virtual Currency, which will provide digital currency exchange services.
However, the launch which was scheduled for late 2017 and latest the beginning of 2018, was postponed after a troubling period resulting from Coincheck’s hack and the cancellation of its partnership and funding agreement with the Chinese crypto exchange Houbi in March.
Although, at a press conference in April this year, SBI’s president and CEO Yoshitaka Kitao revealed that the SBI Virtual Currencies has been offering limited services to a few users since January 30 and that it will officially start the business in the summer.
The unfavorable circumstances at that time forced that company to halt from launching the exchange even after being issued a license from the Japanese regulatory body, Financial Services Agency (FSA), in September 2017.
Success at last!
On Monday, the financial giant announced that the exchange – SBI Virtual Exchange – is now live and fully ready for crypto exchange business.
However, the first service called VCTRADE focuses primarily on trading Ripple XRP, and will only be available to users who have created an account during the pre-registration period in October 2017.
According to the announcement, the company expects to expand its services to other customers in July this year. It also revealed it would support Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash at a later date.
“We will deliver it in sequence. For ordinary account opening applications, we plan to start in July 2018. As for handling virtual currency, first of all, we will deal with XRP, sequentially, bitcoin (BTC). We also plan to add Bitcoin Cash (BCH),” the company said in the announcement (roughly translated).
This move by the company is not surprising because it already owns one of the largest security brokerages in the country.
SBI has also worked with various financial firms in Japan to test the Ripple blockchain application in remittance and digital banking.