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Japan’s SBI Holdings to launch cryptocurrency derivatives platform, invests in Clear Markets

Thu, 02 Aug 2018, 08:56 am UTC

Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings is making efforts to create a cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform for institutional investors, a recent report from Nikkei Asian Review has revealed.

SBI Crypto Investment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBI Holdings, has made an investment in Clear Markets, a North Carolina-based developer of digital marketplaces. According to the details, it has purchased 12 percent stake in Clear Market, which Nikkei estimates to be worth around 1 billion yen ($9 million).

Last October, SBI Holdings announced its plans to create a cryptocurrency-based financial ecosystem. Since then, it has made a number of investments in crypto- and blockchain based startups, including OwlTing, Templum, Lancium Technologies – a company providing wind power to cryptocurrency “mines”, and cryptocurrency hardware wallet provider CoolBitX, among others. Last month, the company launched its virtual currency exchange, VCTRADE, to the public.

In its official release dated July 31, SBI said (loosely translated):

“As a provider of electronic trading platforms, Clear Markets has obtained approval... in Japan, the United States, UK…and is planning to launch the SWAP trading service of digital asset including virtual currency in future. We believe that these efforts will greatly contribute to the development of the digital asset ecosystem by the SBI Group.”

Earlier this year, SBI Investment, a wholly owned subsidiary of SBI Holdings, announced a new AI & Blockchain Fund to invest in promising venture companies in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain. In an announcement dated July 31, SBI said that it has decided to expand the fund offer limit to 60 billion yen from 50 billion yen.

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