Norbert Gehrke
Aug 8 · 3 min read

SBI VC Trade (previously named SBI Virtual Currencies) has been transferred to be affiliated with SBI SECURITIES as of July 1, 2019, in order to develop and provide new services under revised Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, and to further strengthen group synergies:

  • Considering funding through a Security Token Offering (STO)
  • Preparing the establishment of crypto-asset swap market
  • Establishment of a crypto-asset incorporated fund through a joint venture with U.S. CoVenture

Security Tokens

The Financial Instrument and Exchange Act has been revised as of May 31, 2019, and is expected to come into effect with the new fiscal year on April 1, 2020. The revisions establish and regulate transferable rights of electronic records aka “security tokens”. It is expected that a Type I securities dealer license will be required for issuance and trading of security tokens, putting SBI Securities into a favorable position.

Crypto-asset Swaps

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA) have proclaimed a U.S.-Japan mutual recognition agreement on an OTC derivative trading platform (premised on rule standardization). Under the CFTC’s Order of Exemption, Clear Markets has been named as one company that could be covered by mutual recognition. SBI Group is considering a joint venture with Clear Markets.

Crypto-asset fund

Lastly, SBI Group says that the preparations for a crypto-asset incorporated fund business as a joint venture with a US-based investee company have been completed, and the establishment and operation of the fund will promptly begin once the law comes into effect, i.e. in April 2020.

Market position

In the comparison with similar groups of companies that include both a securities broker/dealer entity as well as a virtual currency exchange, SBI claims leading position on an operating income basis, outperforming GMO nearly four times.

The customer base across the new(er) digital businesses includes almost 50% of clients in their 20’s and 30’s, much higher than then rest of the SBI businesses, and therefore an important driver for future growth.

Across the whole SBI financial ecosystem, the affiliated T-Point program as well as Ripple (XRP) are given central position to ensure tradeability and fungibility of tokens and virtual currencies. This all seems to be coming nicely together. Let’s see how the competition reacts, in particular Rakuten with their very successful Rakuten Points program.


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Norbert Gehrke

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Passionate about strategy & innovation in Japan. Connector of people & ideas.

Tokyo FinTech

一般社団法人 (General Incorporated Association) Tokyo FinTech is registered as a non-profit organization in Japan, promoting the domestic ecosystem through innovation

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