Japan opens VCTRADE for the public

The world's first ever bank-backed crypto-currency exchange is now open – which you may have heard a month ago, but back then it was available only for a close circle of users. Yesterday (July 17th, 2018) Japan-based SBI Holdings launched their crypto trading platform called VCTRADE for the public.

The Japanese Financial giant announced in June that its in-house crypto-currency exchange was available only for users who had pre-registered with the platform in October last year.

In their announcement they pointed out that they were expecting VCTRADE to be available for a wider public in July.

What it actually means is that any users aged 20 to 70 who reside in Japan can access VCTRADE. We could say that it means that practically everyone can open a VCTRADE account but we shouldn’t forget that Japan is the country where the average lifespan is 84 years. So, in fact there is quite a significant number of citizens for whom this service is not available. But it’s also true that the 70+ age group is not typically crypto interested.

SBI Holdings set up SBI Virtual Currencies, its crypto subsidiary in October 2016. Their original plan was to open the exchange in February 2018 but as a result of unexpected circumstances, including the Coincheck hack, SBI Holdings decided to delay the launch.

When, finally, VCTRADE was launched in June it started with the trading of Japanese yen against XRP. SBI Holdings talked about plans to open towards Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash following the first phase.

In accordance with the institutions original plans, trading pairs of Bitcoin Cash vs yen was added on June 8th, and Bitcoin vs Japanese yen was added a week later, on June 15th.

It was almost 2 years ago that SBI Holdings’ first announcement came out regarding the exchange. The operating license was issued at the end of last year by Japan’s Financial Services Agency.

When the Coincheck hack happened, resulting in a massive 533 million dollars worth of loss, SBI Holdings decided to examine the circumstances and make their originally planned internal security system even stricter, making sure that an attack like that could not happen to their exchange. It caused some delay but pre-registered users who were looking forward to the launch of the service understood the institution’s explanation, since they were also aware of the recent news about security gaps.

Now that the second phase has been implemented and VCTRADE has become available for the public, making history not only in Japan but in a global sense, too, SBI Holdings is working to move on to its next chapter: a registration service for corporate customers.




Zsolt Balló