Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency And Blockchain News

World’s First Crypto-Backed Bank Opens to the Public With Ripple as the Main Focus


SBI Holdings, the Japanese financial giant, first announced its plans to launch VCTRADE last month. At the time the service was only available to users of SBI Virtual Currencies who had registered to the platform in October last year.

According to the announcement made last month, plans were underway to enable the availability of VCTRADE to the wider public this month. True to their word, reports now indicate that SBI Holdings has now launched its in-house crypto trading platform (VCTRADE) that is available to users in Japan aged between 20 to 70 years old.

Cancelled Business Partnerships

These developments come at a time when SBI Virtual Currencies has just cancelled its partnership with Chinese cryptocurrency startup Huobi Group. The announcement for the cancellation of the business partnership came about in March this year, when SBI Holdings said they would scrap earlier plans to work with the Chinese exchange platform. As indicated, SBI Holdings would then go their own way to create an in-house alternative.

While explaining the cancellation of the partnership, SBI Holdings indicated that they needed “a system that incorporates higher levels of security and which can respond promptly to domestic and overseas regulations.”

At the time, Japan’s Financial Service Agency was becoming strict on its efforts to scrutinize Japanese exchanges as a result of the $530 million hack on Coincheck’s servers early in 2018.

Even then, SBI Holdings made a bold move to build VCTRADE. Although the project has been a long time coming, one of the biggest contributors to the delay, as reported by CoinDesk, is the hack on Coincheck, which somewhat frustrated efforts to register the new exchange with the Japanese regulator (FSA).

Establishing VCTRADE

According to reports, the new service that SBI Holdings offers will not only be the first of its kind crypto project to be backed by a major financial institution, but it will also trade XRP as the main digital asset to begin with. To most onlookers who have been keen on the developments, the decision to use XRP is not surprising. Basically, since SBI Holdings has worked to pilot Ripple’s remittance technology in the past, it is expected that they would prefer to kick off the project with XRP (Ripple’s native token).

The announcement also indicated that subsequently, the platform will support trading for Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash. However, an initial timeline was not revealed. Currently, users of VCTRADE will be able to trade Japanese yen with XRP but there is yet to be a corporate customer service available.

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