SBI Holdings soft-launches FSA-approved Japanese crypto exchange

VCTRADE opens to pre-registered customers, with limited functionality – but nevertheless becomes world’s first bank-banked cryptocurrency market.

According to reports from Business Insider Japan (using Google Translate), Japanese financial firm SBI Holdings announced on Monday that its in-house cryptocurrency exchange – another step along its well mapped-out path to creating the world’s first bank-banked exchange open to the public – is now live. The announcement follows significant delays following the Coincheck hack, which led the firm to reassess its security protocols.

However, potential users can’t rush over to VCTRADE an start trading immediately. Its service is only active for the 20,000 potential users who pre-registered back in the Autumn of last year, who began receiving notices to that effect on June 1st. However, plans are currently in place to open up the platform to new sign-ups in the next month or two. Also, trading will initially only be available for Ripple (XRP – the cryptocurrency) – SBI Holdings has long partnered with the Ripple (the company), the creators XRP, in back-end cross-border payments projects – though Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash are expected to be options by the time it fully opens its virtual doors.

VCTRADE comes after a longer-than-expected gestation period precipitated by the Coincheck affair – as we’ve previously reported, SBI Holdings received approval for its plans from the Japanese FSA last year, but scrapped plans to team up with Huobi on the project, preferring to go it alone. VCTRADE is expected to face competition from Monex Group, which recently bought out Coincheck and putting on of its top executives at its tiller, with the plan of relaunching the Exchange.