Japanese Banking Group SBI Postpones Cryptocurrency Exchange Launch

Japanese financial services giant SBI Group has delayed the launch of its cryptocurrency exchange after determining it had to further strengthen security measures.

In an announcement this week, the SBI group confirmed the postponement of the launch of its cryptocurrency exchange, SBI Virtual Currencies, Japan’s first bank-owned cryptocurrency exchange. As reported by CCN in October 2016, SBI became the first banking group to announce the launch of a cryptocurrency trading platform. SBI Virtual Currencies was established as a new offshoot in November 2016, but the launch of exchange operations continues to see delays. The delays come despite completing its registration as a virtual currency exchange operator with the Financial Services Agency, Japan’s financial regulator, in late September 2017.

The group revealed that a select group of priority customers had already completed formalities to open an account at the platform but they, along with regular customers, will have to wait for an undetermined period of time for the launch of the trading platform.

Pointedly, SBI underlined the need for strengthening security measures as the reason for the delay.

In loosely translated statements, SBI said:

“We decided that it will take a certain amount of time to further strengthen security measures, how to manage [customer] assets under custody, and customer management system.’

The self-enforced delay notably comes on the heels of increased scrutiny by the FSA into cryptocurrency exchanges extending to on-site inspections by the regulator following the recent $530 theft from Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck. Japan’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges are also banding together to establish a self-regulatory body to comply with better security measures to safeguard investors against thefts.

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