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Japanese financial services group to enter cryptocurrency business

SBI, a Japan-based financial services group, has announced that it is entering digital currency business with their rising popularity among investors.

The company said that it is establishing a new company called SBI Virtual Currencies Co., Ltd., which will provide exchange services for digital currencies, CoinDesk reported. According to the official announcement, the new company is being funded with 300m yen (roughly $2.8m USD at press time) in new capital and will be headquartered in Tokyo.

The list of supported digital currencies and launch date have not been disclosed yet. However, SBI said that it would officially form the company next month and will provide updates about the specific kinds of services to be offered by the exchange.

The company said that digital currencies such as bitcoin have become very popular in recent years and highlighted the positive regulatory conditions in Japan which will help facilitate business environment surrounding cryptocurrencies. It said:

“Such environmental changes as a background, we meet the diverse needs of investors, so as to provide the investment opportunity of the new value asset, we have decided to enter the Exchange management business of virtual currency.”

Earlier this year, SBI holdings participated in blockchain startup Ripple’s Series B funding round and also invested in bitcoin exchange bitFlyer through its venture capital subsidiary. In addition, it has also announced that it was working with Ripple to create a new joint venture.

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