SBI Holdings has announced the launch of VCTRADE, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Tokyo, Japan. This is the first cryptocurrency exchange launched by an officially licensed bank in Japanese history.

The exchange will have extremely low latency, adopting the technology used by NASDAQ, the well-known global stock exchange. Additionally, VCTRADE promises the narrowest spreads possible between buy and sell prices. It will only accept JPY for fiat payments, and at first, will only have Ripple (XRP) functionality but soon will expand to Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

VCTRADE will be open from 7 am to 6 am the next day Tokyo time. It is somewhat unusual for a cryptocurrency exchange to be offline any time of the day, although it is typical for a stock exchange to have trading hours. There will apparently be 1 hour per day between 6 am and 7 am Tokyo Time that VCTRADE will be offline.

It will not charge trading fees but will charge an unspecified withdrawal fee.

VCTRADE will only be open to 20,000 users who applied for advance application in October 2017, but by July 2018 the general application for accounts will be released to the public. Essentially, the next couple of months will be a live test to ensure everything is working properly before the exchange goes global.

SBI Holdings has been preparing to launch VCTRADE for years. It created SBI Virtual Currencies Company in October 2016, and registered with Japan’s Financial Services Agency in September 2017.

Observers see this as a very positive sign for the cryptocurrency world that an officially licensed bank in Japan has thoroughly and legally launched its own cryptocurrency exchange, and will view this as another milestone towards the global adoption of cryptocurrency. Many believe bank-backed cryptocurrency exchanges like VCTRADE will be very attractive to institutional investors.

SBI Holdings is a Japanese corporation headquartered in Tokyo that was established in 1999 and currently has approximately 5,500 employees. It is officially licensed as a bank and hold deposits of roughly JPY 81.7 billion (USD 745 million), with a stock market cap of JPY 685 billion (USD 6.25 billion USD).


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