The Japanese financial services group SBI Holdings is not playing on easy mode when it comes to e-Sports. Not only it is investing heavily on its team, but SBI also hopes to take advantage of the opportunity to boost the growth of the crypto-verse.
To strengthen its presence in the gaming scene, SBI e-Sports – the professional e-Sports team sponsored by the financial giant – announced the recruitment of two top gamers: Subaru Sagano, AKA Mickey; and Kenji Suzuki, AKA Ken.
According to the announcements, both players will receive their salaries entirely in XRP, the cryptocurrency that powers the Ripple ecosystem.
In addition, the annual salary for Mikey [and/or Ken players] will be paid in the crypto asset “XRP” instead of Japanese yen, based on the wishes of the player and the sponsorship contract with SBIVC Trade Co.
SBI Takes The e-Sports Opportunity to Boost XRP Adoption
Everything points to a strategy to promote the use of XRP. Since September 2020, when SBI e-Sports announced a sponsorship contract with SBI VC Trade Co., Ltd, both parties hinted at their pro-XRP intentions when they specified that “if a player belonging to “SBI e-Sports” wishes to do so, the annual salary will be paid by the crypto asset XRP.”
Both Mikey and Ken shared their enthusiasm on social media, saying they are willing to give their best to help SBI e-Sports grow. They didn’t elaborate on their XRP salaries, although the PRs explicitely said they agreed to receive their salary in crypto.
Besides e-Sports, SBI promotes the use of other crypto products like the cold wallet “Cool X Wallet” and the mobile trading app VCTRADE SP. But the team made it clear that their aspirations go far beyond that:
Also, as an innovator that creates service businesses using crypto assets … we aim to develop and nurture a healthy market based on customer-centricity, improve prices, expand liquidity, etc.
Investing in The Big Picture
For SBI Holdings, the blockchain is not a game. In early October 2020, its e-Sports division announced its intentions to launch a Security Token Offering (STO). The offer, which would seek to raise 50 million yen, is expected to close on October 30, 2020.
SBI believes this new development can boost their business model, helping raise funds, experiment new things, create new products, etc. The official announcement says that SBI expects to revitalize the capital market and develop the real economy with the spread of STOs in Japan.
SBI has a direct interest in the growth of the Ripple ecosystem – and, of course, in the adoption of its XRP token. The company has a business partnership with Ripple startup and has already given XRP to shareholders with over 1000 shares.