The Japanese financial group SBI introduces a new cryptocurrency service. Through its subsidiary SBI VC, the company opens loans in Bitcoin. It then plans to support Ether and XRP.
Financial services in connection with cryptocurrency are not the sole preserve of the crypto players. The Japanese financial giant demonstrates this by launching a loan service denominated in cryptocurrency.
Initially, however, SBI is focusing on the first of these crypto assets in terms of capitalization, namely Bitcoin. Through its subsidiary SBI VC Trade, it therefore allows users to borrow Bitcoin.
Including taxes, the interest rate of this loan in Bitcoin is 1%. The new service, called VC Trade Lending, allows you to borrow at least 0.1 BTC from the bank. At the current rate, this is about 1900 dollars.
However, the amount of loans that can be taken out with SBI is capped. The financial institution specifies in its announcement that they may not exceed 5 BTC, or around $100,000 at the current rate.
Decentralized finance protocols, however, already offer the possibility to borrow in different cryptocurrencies. SBI must therefore take this competition into account in its pricing.
For example, VC Trade Lending does not include any account management fees or annual membership fees. The service will also not charge any fees for deposits made in Japanese yen or crypto. On the other hand, fees will apply on yen withdrawals.
For the Japanese conglomerate SBI, Bitcoin is just the first step. It is already considering offering loans for other cryptocurrencies. These will be Ethereum and XRP.
Does SBI’s development in crypto finance mark the beginning of a movement of funds in the sector? Banks will first have to build up their skills in the field of crypto – and sometimes also wait for a protective regulatory framework.
This is not the first time SBI has been involved in cryptocurrency, even if it seems to be accelerating in 2020. Last month, its foreign exchange and derivatives subsidiary, SBI Liquidity Market, acquired the crypto TaoTao exchange, for example.
But SBI also has its own crypto business, run through its subsidiary SBI VC Trade. Finally, Cointelegraph points out that the Japanese group is a major partner of Ripple, the issuer of the XRP token.