So far, it is the first of its kind at a planning stage: a virtual currency exchange backed by the world’s first Internet-based financial conglomerate, Japan’s SBI Holdings. According to plan, the $28 bln financial services group will start SBI’s virtual currency company which will provide an exchange and trading services for virtual currencies with an estimated capital of 300 mln yen (about $2.8 mln) - including the capital reserve.

Though the exact currencies to be traded on the exchange were not disclosed in the translated version of the announcement made by the Group, more information would be provided about the establishment planned to be formed by November 1, 2016.

High interest

It cites the high interest that virtual currencies, including Bitcoin, has attracted in recent years, and the revised policy of the government and authorities on the handling of virtual currencies as a fund settlement method in May this year as pointers that made the business environment surrounding virtual currencies meet the diverse needs of investors.

“Other details about the business’ start date and the services will be provided,” the company stated, “it will be announced as soon as they are determined.”

SBI is not new to the virtual currency world. The venture capital firm inked a multi-million dollar agreement with global Bitcoin exchange Kraken in February to invest in and lead the Series B round of financing in the exchange. Earlier in January, SBI Holdings and global provider of financial settlement solutions, Ripple, announced the creation of SBI Ripple Asia.

As part of the agreement, Ripple and SBI are to explore ways to list XRP through SBI’s various online brokerage properties and among those properties is Japan’s leading online securities trading platform SBI Securities —which recently reached a milestone of 3.5 million accounts.

The SBI Group consists of 208 companies (as of September 2015) operating in approximately 20 countries and regions, in sectors including financial services, asset management and biotechnology. Its over 5,000 employees cover businesses including Internet banking, over-the-counter foreign exchange margin transactions, operation of Proprietary Trading System and international money transfer service.