Japan’s leading financial service group — SBI Holdings — publicized that during the launch of its news crypto exchange SBI Virtual Currencies (SBI VC), Ripple’s XRP will be the first digital asset supported. The group aims to serve its huge clientele base of institutional investors in addition to individuals virtual currency buyers.
[Update February 2, 6:00AM EST]: An earlier version of this article suggested XRP would be the only asset SBI’s platform supports. SBI VC says it plans to add support for many currencies, including Bitcoin Cash (BCH) soon.
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SBI launched the cryptocurrency exchange to provide a respected and reliable medium for both its institutional customers and individual digital asset buyers in Japan. SBI Holdings’ offshoot, SBI Securities, is a massive online services company which hosts over 4 million brokerage accounts.
SBI Holding and Ripple: a Unique Partnership
The launch of SBI VC has been underway since May 2017, when the company announced its decision to set up a crypto exchange. Following the announcement, SBI VC received its virtual currency exchange license in November of last year.
Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea have seen growing demand for XRP. Investors bet their money on XRP due to its institutional potential and its scalability.
In the past, Yoshitaka Kitao, SBI Holdings CEO, pointed out why the SBI Group is confident on the cryptocurrency. He said:
“Not only does it have a clear use case, XRP is faster, cheaper and more scalable than any other digital asset. I strongly believe it will become the global standard in digital currencies.”
However, according to a Financial Times survey, most banks that are linked to Ripple Network are in the testing phase, while only a few have embraced the project. SBI Ripple Asia, a joint company of SBI Group and Ripple, highlights the unique relationship they will share going forward. SBI Ripple Asia aims to increase adoption of Ripple’s consensus mechanism for real transactions throughout Asia.
SBI VC Could Join Ripple’s xRapid Ecosystem
In addition to making XRP the primary digital currency of SBI VC, the group is planning to join Ripple’s enterprise-grade xRapid ecosystem in order to facilitate cross-border payments.
Ripple’s blog stated, “Ripple will eventually integrate SBI VC’s APIs so that xRapid users — payment providers and banks who are transferring money into and out of Japan — can convert XRP to JPY and JPY to XRP instantly through SBI VC.”
The xRapid system is more scalable and offers low-cost liquidity options, therefore being a favorable financial ecosystem for banks and payment providers.
Patrick Griffin, Ripple’s Senior Vice President of Business Development, remarked that the partnership with SBI VC is a step closer to company’s mission to institute an Internet of Value where money freely moves like information.
“Today’s decision to make XRP the primary digital asset of SBI Virtual Currencies shows the utility, efficiency, and scalability respected financial institutions around the world see in XRP. This is a critical step forward in our mission to build XRP liquidity and build an Internet of Value.”
In the future, will XRP become the global standard in digital currencies? Or not a chance? Let us know what you think below.
Images via Ripple, Weforum