SBI Holdings Again Invests in Crypto Exchange Under Scrutiny

SBI Holdings, the investment arm of Japanese financial giant SBI Group, is making a new round of investment in a cryptocurrency exchange that’s under increased scrutiny from the country’s financial regulator.

The investment firm said in a release on Monday that it’s increasing its stake in Japanese exchange LastRoots via an undisclosed investment, following an initial capital injection in December 2017. The goal of the latest funding, according to the announcement, is to help the exchange enhance its internal business systems in order for it to become a licensed trading venue.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, LastRoots was one of a number of unlicensed cryptocurrency exchanges that have been probed by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) in the months following the $520 million Coincheck exchange heist in January.

LastRoots was issued with an FSA business improvement order in April, after the agency decided the platform had insufficient measures in place to protect users against potential cyber threats.

In addition to the new capital, SBI Holdings said it will supply its own staff to support LastRoots in beefing up its internal risk management systems and anti-money laundering measures.

The move follows news that SBI’s in-house crypto exchange had officially started offering trading services to the public in mid-July after receiving a license from the FSA. The launch made it one of the first crypto exchanges in Japan to be backed by a major financial institution.

Back in March, SBI Holdings also invested in Taiwan-based cryptocurrency hardware wallet maker CoolBitX and, a month later, backed token exchange Templum’s $10 million funding round.

Japanese yen and bitcoin image via Shutterstock

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