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SBI acquires B2C2 to launch a digital asset trading desk

Japanese financial group SBI acquired a cryptocurrency trading platform for an undisclosed amount

SBI Financial Services, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings,  announced on Monday that it had acquired the United Kingdom-based crypto services firm B2C2, making it one of the mainstream financial entities to have a full-fledged digital asset trading desk. The Japanese financial services giant did not disclose the amount it paid for acquiring the B2C2 cryptocurrency exchange.

According to Reuters, the two companies are happy about the partnership and hope that it would push more mainstream financial institutions to invest in cryptocurrencies. SBI noted that by acquiring B2C2, it had become the first major financial group to run a digital asset dealing desk.

The partnership between SBI and B2C2 started a few months ago when SBI bought a minority stake in the cryptocurrency exchange in July. The deal made it possible for SBI’s clients to trade through the B2C2 trading desk.

B2C2 has been around since 2015 and has become famous as one of the best cryptocurrency trading companies in the UK. It helps exchanges, brokerages and fund managers execute large trades in digital cryptocurrencies.

Yoshitaka Kitao, president and CEO of SBI Holdings, is impressed by B2C2 and the company’s journey over the past few years. He stated that “Their vision, expertise and offering complement SBI’s, and we look forward to working in partnership as we expand our footprint across the global markets”.

SBI isn’t targeting local domination in Asia and Europe. The financial services company wants to work with B2C2 to expand its digital trading services to other parts of the world. SBI’s global expansion could be timely as an increasing number of financial institutions are buying Bitcoin, which they consider as a hedge against inflation.

Max Boonen, the crypto firm’s founder, revealed that the B2C2 team in Japan will continue their operations from the SBI offices as part of the acquisition deal. Boonen added that the B2C2 team would expand to 70 employees from the current 50 as they prepare to offer services to more clients.

SBI has been making moves that would allow it to become a major player in the cryptocurrency sector. It partnered with Germany’s second-largest stock exchange, the Boerse Stuttgart Group, to expand its cryptocurrency services.

Digital currencies have been around for more than a decade, but have also recently attracted the attention of institutional investors. Mainstream financial institutions are now in a race to enter the market and offer various services to both institutional and retail customers.

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