SBI Virtual Currencies, owned by Tokyo-based SBI Holdings, just launched a cryptocurrency exchange in Japan that’s powered by Nasdaq’s trading system (matching engine) technology. The new exchange, VCTRADE, is offering Ripple’s XRP as the first cryptocurrency on its platform.
VCTRADE will extend SBI’s core businesses in securities, banking and insurance. Today’s launch is part of a larger rollout of the platform. According to the announcement, the exchange will initially be available to only 20,000 investors who have pre-qualified. Support of Ripple’s XRP as a trading pair with the Japanese yen will carry no transaction fees.
SBI plans to expand the platform in July 2018 when open enrollment begins. In addition to XRP, the exchange plans to list Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in the near future.
Nasdaq’s involvement in VCTRADE is another remarkable sign that cryptocurrency trading is gradually becoming enmeshed with Wall Street. Earlier this year, digital asset exchange Gemini announced that it would also be using Nasdaq’s surveillance technology to help monitor the company’s marketplace. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs recently announced plans to open a crypto trading desk in a follow-up to its investment in Circle, a crypto financial services company that bought major cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex and plans to launch its own Circle USD Coin (USDC), a stable coin pegged to the US dollar.
New cryptocurrency exchange DX.Exchange is also being powered by Nasdaq’s tech.
While Nasdaq, the world’s second largest stock exchange by market capitalization, is supplying its technology in strategic partnerships with cryptocurrency exchanges, CEO Adena Friedman has said that Nasdaq itself “would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time.”
Ripple and SBI Holdings jointly own and operate SBI Ripple Asia to test pilot Ripple’s blockchain technology for cross-border transactions. SBI is one of over 100 companies that Ripple counts among its customers, including Bank of America, Santander, Credit Agricole and Mizuho Financial Group.