The first bank-backed crypto exchange in the world has officially gone public in Japan, after a number of delays that stalled the launch for months. The launch comes after close to two years after the initial public announcement.
VCTRADE Now Active
SBI Holdings, the Japanese financial giant, formally launched the Cryptocurrency exchange platform which it has dubbed VCTRADE. This news was made public through a formal announcement made by SBI Holdings on Tuesday.
SBI initial announcement reported that the launch was only limited to a select few, around 20,000 users that had preregistered on the platform last year. The initial announcement excluded the larger population in Japan, which is among the biggest markets for Crypto trading in the world. For a Crypto exchange to operate in this market, they are required by the regulatory laws to be licensed.
New Accounts Holders Tender In Applications
The service has currently been expanded to accommodate other users, within the 20-70 age brackets, residing in Japan. The company’s subsidiary, SBI Virtual Currencies which operates VCTRADE, is open for receiving applications from new accounts holders in Japan. The bank-backed Crypto exchange will only be accepting retail investors. Any corporate and institutional investors who have tendered in their applications are not under consideration currently.
In its initial launch last month, VCTRADE was only offering to trade in XRP, which is the native token of Ripple and also powers RCL (Ripple Consensus Ledger). The Japanese financial giant has partnered with Ripple and operates SBI Ripple Asia jointly with the San Francisco based company. This partnership is being used in exploring the role of Ripple’s Blockchain technology and its native token in the flow of remittance in the Asian market.
Since its preliminary launch, VCTRADE has included two more Cryptocurrencies in its support portfolio these being Bitcoin Cash (BCH/JPY) and Bitcoin (BTC/JYP), increasing the total number of Cryptocurrencies the Crypto exchange now supports from one, XRP, to three. The world’s first bank backed Crypto exchange currently supports Ripple, Bitcoin, and Bitcoin Cash as at launch, and is expecting to include other digital coins in the near future.
Delay Over Security Measures
SBI Holdings reportedly delayed the launch and postponed it to a
later date citing the need to fortify its security measures as the reason. This was despite it has announced the launch date as being in early 2018, finalizing its registration and receiving a formal license from the FSA i.e. the Financial Services Agency which is the financial regulator in Japan, last year.
The sudden delays and need to upgrade security measures come in the aftermath of Coincheck, a Tokyo-based Crypto exchange, falling victim to a hack attack that cost it whopping $530 million in January.
The SBI Group initially publicised its intentions to start its own Cryptocurrency exchange last year. This move has made it the first traditional financial institution to get into the Crypto space.
The group stated that with virtual currencies like Bitcoin gaining increased popularity in the past couple of years and receiving wide media coverage, Crypto exchanges have been very active in trading.