After months of delays due to security concerns, Japan’s SBI Holdings announced that it has completed an in-house cryptocurrency exchange (VCTRADE) which is now live. VCTRADE will focus on trading Ripple's (XRP) token, after which the exchange will subsequently add support for other leading coins such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin, among others.
SBI Holdings had previously conducted various pilot schemes with Ripple, a leading money transfer blockchain based company that's paving the way for banks to incorporate blockchain as an alternative solution to SWIFT. In October 2016, SBI Holdings established SBI Virtual Currencies in an effort to launch Japan’s first fully backed crypto exchange by a bank.
However, due to regulatory concerns and registration requirements required by Japan’s Financial Financial Services Agency (FSA), the launch was delayed. Coindesk later reported that SBI Virtual Currencies canceled a business partnership with Chinese cryptocurrency startup Huobi Group.
According to the report, Huobi was originally meant to provide the technology, know-how, and human resources in operating the exchanges, but instead SBI had decided to bring the efforts in-house.