SBI announces crypto joint venture with Swiss digital exchange SIX

The crypto venture is expected to formalize its operation by the end of 2021 and start offering its services by early 2022.

SBI Digital Asset Holdings, a fully owned subsidiary of Japanese banking giant SBI Holdings, announced a joint crypto venture with Switzerland’s SIX digital exchange (SDX). 

The joint venture would be set up in Singapore through a crypto issuance company and aims to become a regional liquidity hub for institutions. SBI Holdings CEO Yoshitaka Kitao said:

“This is an important step in building the necessary global infrastructure for widespread institutional adoption of digital assets. Together with SDX‘s strength in Switzerland and our planned digital exchange in Osaka, this venture will establish a powerful institutional corridor between Europe and Asia.”

The partnership between SBI and SIX banks on growing crypto demand in the Asia-Pacific region and will cater its services to regulated institutions. The venture is expected to formalize its operations by the end of 2021 and start offering its services by early 2022 following regulatory clearance from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

The new undertaking will offer a range of digital asset products and services in the form of tokenized securities such as digital bonds, digital equities and digital securitized loans.

SIX did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

Related: SBI doubled crypto business profits in past fiscal year.

SDX chairman called SBI a natural partner for the joint venture given their expertise in the institutional digital asset market and dominance in Asia. 

Singapore has grown to become a global crypto hub over the past few years. Major crypto exchanges like Binance, FTX, Coinbase, Huobi, and several others have found a home in the country amid regulatory uncertainty around the globe.

Japan to Propose Restricting Stablecoin Issuers to Banks and Wire Transfer Companies

Japan to Propose Restricting Stablecoin Issuers to Banks and Wire Transfer Companies

Japan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), is reportedly planning to propose legislation to restrict stablecoin issuance to banks and wire transfer companies. Crypto service providers involved in stablecoin transactions, including wallets, will also be brought under the financial regulator’s oversight.

Japan to Tighten Stablecoin Regulation

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is planning to tighten the regulation of stablecoins by imposing strict rules on their issuers, Nikkei reported Monday, stating:

The Financial Services Agency seeks to propose legislation in 2022 to restrict issuance of stablecoins to banks and wire transfer companies.

The FSA will also tighten regulations related to the prevention of money laundering, the publication added, noting that crypto service providers involved in stablecoin transactions, including wallets, will also be brought under the financial regulator’s oversight.

In addition, stablecoin issuers will be required to comply with Japan’s law on preventing transfers of criminal proceeds. This includes verifying user identities and reporting suspicious transactions.

The total market capitalization of all stablecoins at the time of writing is nearly $160 billion. Tether (USDT), the biggest stablecoin in circulation, currently has a market cap of $76.58 billion based on data from Bitcoin.com Markets.

While Japan currently does not have a law regulating stablecoins, the FSA has established a panel to study how to best ensure consumer protection and address money laundering concerns in this area. In September, Yuri Okina, a member of the panel, said: “It’s important that stable coin is backed by secure, liquid assets. But it’s questionable whether setting blanket rules as strong as those currently applied to banks is the right approach.”

Japan is not the only country planning to impose strict rules on stablecoin issuers. In July, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen asked regulators overseeing crypto assets in the U.S. to “act quickly” to regulate stablecoins. The President’s Working Group on Financial Markets (PWG) subsequently recommended imposing bank-like regulation on stablecoin issuers.

However, not everyone agrees with this regulatory approach. In November, Federal Reserve Board Governor Christopher Waller argued against the PWG’s recommendation. He explained that he is fine with letting banks issue stablecoins but disagrees that only banks should be allowed to issue them.

What do you think about Japan planning to allow only banks and wire transfer companies to issue stablecoins? Let us know in the comments section below.