The financial services business of the SBI Group, SBI Holdings, has bought a 40% stake in CoolBitX, a cold storage wallet. SBI had already been looking at ways to use cryptocurrencies “for the further development of products and services, and to secure market liquidity”, as reported in their official finance report last year.
The Taiwan-based Fintech wallet company was founded by Michael Ou in 2014. It allows users to store Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple in a thin and secure ‘safe’. CoolbitX raised $500,000 in March 2017 to improve the wallet’s security so it could be used in sectors where identity theft may become a problem, such as Internet of Things (IoT), healthcare and others. By investing in this company, SBI Holdings has taken another step towards blockchain and cryptocurrency-related innovations. It even invested in the Japanese exchange bitFlyer in 2016, along with Venture Labo Investment.
Other Blockchain Initiatives by SBI Holdings
SBI planned to launch its own digital currency which could be used for payment and P2P transfers, as well as being traded for Japanese Yen last year. It then co-founded SBI Ripple Asia, which was meant to make Ripple products and services more accessible for the Asian market. SBI also launched its own beta exchange SBI Virtual Currencies on January 30th and allowed Ripple (XRP) to be the only cryptocurrency listed on it. According to CEO Yoshitaka Kitao, “Not only does it have a clear use case, XRP is faster, cheaper and more scalable than any other digital asset. I strongly believe it will become the global standard in digital currencies.”
Japan has already been called a cryptocurrency friendly country – over 50% of global trading in Bitcoin is linked to Japanese accounts. Last year, Japan recognized bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as legal tender, a move that was applauded by the crypto community.