Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings just announced plans to launch its own crypto exchange. The company has already set a launch date for their exchange, which will allow users to trade major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Ripple.
SBI Holdings expects to quickly grab a large share of the market. The CEO claims their exchange will “be number one in the blink of an eye”.
The fact that SBI Holdings wants to launch a cryptocurrency exchange is not surprising. Last year, the company announced plans to launch its own cryptocurrency exchange “in the autumn of 2017 and at the latest the beginning of 2018.” Obviously, that launch never happened. SBI Holdings delayed the launch after Coincheck’s hack as well as trouble with its capital and business alliance agreement with China’s Huobi Group.
However, SBI Holdings already received a license from the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) in September 2017. At launch, SBI’s exchange will already be a fully licensed exchange based in Japan.
SBI Holdings plans to call its exchange the “SBI Virtual Currencies Exchange”.
At a press conference this past week, SBI Holdings CEO Yoshitaka Kitao announced the new launch date for its exchange. Now, the exchange is scheduled to launch in summer 2018. SBI Holdings also emphasized that they’re developing their exchange from scratch – they’re not white-labeling an existing exchange product.
SBI Virtual Currencies is already operational for a select few customers. The exchange first opened on January 30, according to a report from Business Insider Japan.
When the exchange fully launches, we expect it to host all major cryptocurrencies. Early reports indicate that the exchange will feature bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), and Ripple (XRP), with more cryptocurrencies being added in the future.
As mentioned above, SBI Holdings has ambitious plans for its exchange, aiming to be “number one” soon after launch:
“When we do it, it will be number one in the blink of an eye so quickly, so even if a tremendous number of customers come, we can build a system that can bear [the workload].”
Obviously, it’s not unusual for a cryptocurrency exchange to capture enormous market share soon after launch. Binance did it last year, launching in 2017 and growing to become the world’s number one exchange before the end of the year.
How does SBI Holdings plan to attract cryptocurrency users? One major difference will be the spread and liquidity available to traders:
“We set the spread to the industry minimum. Given that the SBIFX trading spread of group’s FX company is at the industry’s narrowest level, this is to be expected.”
SBI Holdings is currently one of the largest security brokerages in Japan. They have a total of 8.5 million accounts across financial service subsidiaries like SBI Securities Co. Ltd.
Meanwhile, Kitao, the CEO of SBI Holdings, recently demonstrated his commitment to the cryptocurrency industry by assuming office as a director of the new self-regulating Japanese organization, the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association. That group was recently created as a collaboration between 16 fully-licensed Japan-based exchanges.
Will SBI Holdings succeed in its plan to become the number one cryptocurrency exchange? Stay tuned for more information about the SBI Virtual Currencies Exchange as it prepares to (finally) launch in summer 2018.