Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings announced on Monday the launch of its cryptocurrency exchange called ‘VCTRADE’ after a 15 month delay due to some security concerns.
SBI says that the crypto exchange will initially focus on trading XRP, the native token of Ripple, and will also add support for Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in the future, though no timelines have been given out.
SBI has already partnered with Ripple and operates SBI Ripple Asia, a company that uses the financial products and technologies provided by the San Francisco-based Ripple to power money transfers among banks.
For now, VCTRADE will be available to some 20,000 users who have pre-registered in October 2017 however the company expects the platform to be available to a wider public by July 2018.
SBI Holdings said in the announcement that no transaction fees will be charged for XRP/JPY trading at launch. Users will be charged with withdrawal fees at the time of retrieving Japanese Yen.
The financial giant first established its wholly-owned subsidiary, SBI Virtual Currencies in October 2016, according to a CNN report.
“In recent years, virtual currencies, like bitcoin, have attracted plenty of interest and have been covered in major media,” SBI said at the time in a bid to become the country’s first crypto exchange fully backed by a bank. “It [virtual currencies] are also being traded actively.”
SBI Holdings had registered the cryptocurrency platform under the Japanese financial regulator, Financial Services Agency (FSA) in September 2017 however the launch of the exchange was postponed as SBI believed it needed to strengthen its cyber security measures prior to the launch. The delay was announced just a month after a major Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck was hacked about $500 million worth of NEM tokens.
SBI has already invested in Japan’s biggest bitcoin exchange bitflyer and also announced a 40 percent ownership stake in Taiwanese crypto hardware wallet manufacturer CoolBitX. Though the company hasn’t confirmed but it seems like it is going to use the crypto wallets from CoolBitX to store customers’ assets.