Japanese Conglomerate SBI Group Launches Eight Cryptocurrency-Based Businesses

Japan-based financial services firm SBI Group has announced its plans to establish several new businesses based on digital currency. The group is simultaneously developing eight businesses including hedge fund management, mining, and a derivatives market.

Group president and chief executive officer (CEO) Yoshitaka Kitao explained their plans at the company’s earnings results briefing session in late October 2017. He detailed how the firm is “pursuing synergies between [its] current financial ecosystem and [its] new financial ecosystem based on cryptocurrency.”

Brief details of the company’s plans

Based on the group’s presentation, it plans to create “a dominant cryptocurrency exchange platform, amid other platforms, based on the ‘customer-centric principle.’ The company also intends to establish a virtual currency exchange platform in Hong Kong.

Part of the presentation reads:

“Currently waiting for the appropriate timing to start the [exchange] service, where the key decision factors are the progress of SBI Crypto’s mining, along with the division situation of [the upcoming] hard fork.”

In mining, SBI Group plans to “acquire digital currency share through mining, in a bid to stabilize the market.” The company also intends to contribute to “market stabilization by providing new trading opportunities in cryptocurrency for institutional investors” through the creation of a crypto derivatives market and management of crypto hedge funds.

The presentation reads:

“In order to stabilize the volatility in virtual currencies, the participation of institutional investors who make long-term investments are expected.”

Moreover, the company also plans to manage a virtual currency portal site that will disseminate crypto-related and initial coin offering (ICO) rating information. In early October, it was reported that Morningstar Japan is launching the first ICO rating business in the country. The majority shareholder of Morningstar Japan is SBI Group, which owns 49.54 percent of the firm’s shares.