• SBI Holdings of Japan has announced plans to launch a cryptocurrency fund by November

  • SBI Holdings Inc., a financial services group, has announced plans to launch a crypto fund in Japan before the end of November, which is another positive development for the country’s crypto industry.

    Quick facts

    The fund could grow to several hundred million dollars invested in Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and possibly others, citing Tomoya Asakura, president of SBI affiliate Morningstar Japan K.K. The fund, which is primarily aimed at investors who understand the risks of trading cryptocurrencies, may require a minimum investment of approximately US$9,000 to US$27,000.

    “I want people to hold it together with other assets and see firsthand how useful it can be for diversifying portfolios,” Asakura told Bloomberg, adding that if the fund is successful, the firm plans to “move quickly” to launch a second one.

    SBI operates two domestic exchanges, SBI VC Trade and the TaoTao platform, as well as SBI Crypto, a mining arm, and B2C2, a U.K.-based liquidity provider. In a consolidated Q2 report this year across its crypto platforms, the company reported a pre-tax profit of US$41.7 million, a year-on-year increase of 56% over 2020’s Q2 figures.

    Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, recently announced a partnership with one of Japan’s largest banks, Mitsubishi UFG, to gain access to the world’s third-largest economy.

    Despite a strict regulatory approach to cryptocurrency businesses, digital asset trading is gaining traction in Japan. The Japan Virtual and Crypto Assets Exchange Association reported in March that cryptocurrency deposits for the month totaled 1.41 trillion yen, or approximately US$13 billion, nearly seven times the amount reported in March of the previous year.

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