SBI Holdings backs LastRoots despite FSA scrutiny

The Japanese financial services giant makes yet another crypto move and raises a few eyebrows in the process

SBI Holdings has made an undisclosed investment in controversial cryptocurrency exchange LastRoots.

This follows an initial capital injection in December 2017, with the aim of helping the exchange enhance its internal business systems in order for it to become a licenced trading venue.

“SBI Group is expanding its contribution and partnerships with digital asset-related venture companies and will promote the creation of digital asset demand through investment in domestic and overseas venture companies that are engaged in the business of utilising digital assets and developing new products. We believe that it will contribute to the expansion and development of the digital asset industry/business in the future,” the company says in a press release.

In June, SBI launched Japan’s first bank-backed crypto exchange, called VCTRADE, via its subsidiary SBI Virtual Currencies. Further info on that here. Also this year, it has invested in Taiwan-based cryptocurrency hardware wallet maker CoolBitX and backed token exchange Templum’s $10 million funding round.

Little bit of controversy

The LastRoots move will raise a fair few eyebrows as the venture was earlier this year given a business improvement order by the Japanese Financial Services Authority (FSA). SBI says that it will focus on business improvement, including risk management, for which it will provide its own staff to assist LastRoots.

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