The investment arm of Japanese financial giant SBI Group, SBI Holdings, has decided to again invest in a cryptocurrency exchange that has long been under scrutiny from the country’s financial regulator.
SBI Holdings said in a release today, August 20, that it is ready to increase its stake in Japanese stock exchange LastRoots via a new round of investment, following its initial capital injection in December last year. According to the release, the goal of its undisclosed investment is to help LastRoots enhance its internal business systems to make it eligible for becoming a licensed trading venue.
LastRoots is one of the many Japanese unlicensed cryptocurrency exchanges that have been probed by the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) for months following the $520mln major Coincheck exchange heist in January this year.
The unlicensed crypto exchange was issued with an improvement order from the Japanese FSA, after the financial watchdog decided that the crypto platform had insufficient measures in place to protect investors against potential cyber threats.
In addition to its new investment, SBI Holdings said it will also supply its own team to support the crypto exchange in enhancing its internal management risk systems and AML (Anti Money Laundering) measures.
The plan to invest follows news that SBI Group’s in-house crypto exchange had started offering trading services to investors in mid-July after obtaining a license from the FSA. This made it one of the first crypto exchanges in the country to be backed by a major financial institution.
In March, SBI Holdings completed a round of investment in Taiwan-based crypto hardware wallet maker ‘CoolBitX’. And, in April, the group backed Templum’s $10mln funding round.