Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings on Monday became the world’s first mainstream financial institution to launch a cryptocurrency exchange.
Initially, VCTRADE, which went live today will accept pre-registered users, who registered to the exchange in October last year. The firm is planning to launch the services to a wider audience in July 2018.
According to the official announcement, the exchange will only allow trading with XRP for a while but has plans to list other major coins like BTC and BCH in the future. SBI has formed many ties with San Francisco-based blockchain startup Ripple, and the initial introduction of XRP is not a surprise as the bank announced the same earlier in April.
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Moreover, an earlier partnership of SBI with the crypto exchange mammoth Huobi went awry and was canceled in March. This also acted as a roadblock to the original launch date as SBI could not use Huobi’s infrastructure.
In October 2016, the Japanese banking giant entered into the blockchain arena with the introduction of SBI Virtual Currencies, a wholly owned subsidiary of SBI Holdings. A year later in September 2017, the bank registered with the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) to ease the process of the exchange’s launch.
For SBI Virtual Currencies, SBI chose XRP as the lone digital asset for the initial phase.