Tokyo-based SBI Holdings has announced that it has upped its investment amount in controversial Japanese exchange LastRoots, via a press release on the SBI official website. The statement reads [translated from Japanese]:
SBI Group is expanding its contribution and partnerships with digital asset-related venture companies and will promote the creation of digital asset demand through investment in domestic and overseas venture companies that are engaged in the business of utilizing digital assets and developing new products We believe that it will contribute to the expansion and development of the digital asset industry / business in the future.
This news comes only a few weeks after SBI became the first business in the world to launch a bank-backed cryptocurrency exchange, following regulatory approval from the Japanese Financial Services Authority (FSA). However, this latest move will come under scrutiny, as LastRoots were given a business improvement order by the FSA back in April. SBI have stated that their main focus is business improvement, including risk management, for which it will provide its own staff to assist LastRoots.
This is far from the only recent example of crypto-related investment from SBI Holdings. Back in March 2018, SBI acquired a 40 percent stake in Taiwanese wallet provider CoolBitX. Just over a month later, in April, SBI also contributed to an investment round in New York-based Templum, who are looking to build a platform for the trading of digital assets and securities.
SBI Group – also known as Strategic Business Innovator Group – formed in 1999 and have since grown into a large corporation with over 5,000 employees and paid-in capital to date of well over $700 million. Based in Tokyo, they also have overseas bases in China, Hong Kong, the US, Germany, Sri Lanka, the UAE and at least 15 other countries across South East Asia and beyond.