One of Japan’s most prominent banking institutions, SBI Group, has launched a cryptocurrency exchange powered by Ripple (XRP), as promised. The launch makes SBI Virtual Currencies the first wholly bank owned cryptocurrency exchange in Japan, the country where Bitcoin made its advent to the world.
The exchange is making its debut with trades solely based on XRP but reportedly mentioned that they had plans to offer trading pairs with other major virtual currencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Ripple (XRP) itself. However, at launch, SBI Virtual Currencies will only support XRP as it is evident on the sites “About Page” which only has data on XRP.
This news has excited the Ripple community on Reddit, as XRP holders, who are also commonly referred to as Ripplers in cryptocurrency social circles, are enthusiastic concerning this development in Ripple.
SBI had announced their intentions to launch the exchange but had delayed the project a couple of times. On 29th September 2017, SBI Virtual Currencies was registered in Japan with the Financial Services Agency and is said to have started offering limited services to Japanese customers ahead of its launch.
In January, SBI Group had entered into a partnership with China’s Houbi to launch two cryptocurrency exchanges, during the first quarter of 2018. The two firms partnered to combine their platforms and start a cryptocurrency-related venture which will operate in the Asian region.
Under the agreement, the two parties will leverage their cutting-edge technology, human resource, and experience in the blockchain space to ensure the venture succeeds. Houbi currently operates several offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan.
Under the partnership, SBI Group is entitled to 30% equity in the Japanese entity of Houbi Group, Houbi Technology Japan Co., Ltd., and an additional 10% stake in Houbi Group’s Korean entity, the Houbi Co. Ltd. On the other hand, Houbi can acquire a 30% stake in SBI Virtual Currencies.
SBI Group whose core businesses are in the financial services sector, asset management, and Biotech, marks the entry of institutional players in the cryptocurrency space In Japan.
SBI’s CEO, Yoshitaka Kitao had expressed his confidence in the future of the exchange, predicting that the platform will become the number one exchange platform soon after launch. Hence, the exchange platform was designed to handle a massive influx of clients looking for world-class crypto-exchange services.
SBI CEO was quoted saying, “When we do it, it will be number one in the blink of an eye,” he continued saying;
So even if a tremendous number of customers come, we can build a system that can bear the workload.
SBI has also revealed their plans of forming a consortium with a Japanese Credit Cards firm in the future. Alongside SBI Ripple Asia, a subsidiary of SBI Group, the consortium will work on projects that will utilize blockchain technology.
Following the launch of a Ripple based exchange, many traders are bullish on the future of XRP, claiming that XRP will inevitably lose its correlation to the price of Bitcoin, as was predicted by Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse.