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World’s First Bank-Backed Crypto Exchange Finally Opens to the Public

The world's first bank-backed cryptocurrency exchange is now open to the public after months of delays.

Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings formally launched its in-house cryptocurrency trading platform dubbed VCTRADE last month. Yet as reported by CoinDesk at the time, the trading service was only available for a group of selected users who pre-registered with the platform in October 2017.

In an announcement released on Tuesday, SBI Holdings said the service is now fully open for users aged from 20–70 who reside in Japan. However, a registration service for corporate customers has not yet been made available.

At its June launch, VCTRADE announced it will initially support trading of Japanese yen against XRP, the native token of the ripple protocol – a move that aligns with the institution's wider support for XRP in cross-border blockchain settlement.

Subsequently, the platform added yen-based trading pairs for bitcoin cash and bitcoin on June 8 and 15, respectively.

Today's public launch comes two years after SBI Holdings first announced it would build the exchange in October 2016.

VCTRADE received an operating license from Japan's financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency, late last year. Its debut was delayed for months, however, as the firm worked to raise levels of internal security following a massive $533 million hack at the country's Coincheck exchange in January.

Open sign image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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