The CEO of SBI, one of Japan’s financial giants and longtime Ripple partner in Asia, said he believes that investment and early adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology will be key to the country’s next economic boom.
SBI CEO Looks to Blockchain for Economic Boom
At the first annual Japanese Blockchain Conference in Tokyo CEO Yoshitaka Kitao talked about his belief in blockchain to get Japan’s economy back on track to regain the global position it once held. The Chief Executive Officer of one Japan’s largest financial service providers was quoted by Forbes:
We want to take blockchain beyond financial, there’s a lot of speculative demand around cryptocurrencies, which is why the price is going up so quickly, but people need to think about how these technologies are being used in real life and how they can improve people’s businesses.”
Japan had the second largest GDP in the world (after the US) from the mid – 1970’s through the 1980’s. By the 1990’s however, things changed and the country fell into an economic slump known as the lost decade in Japan.
SBI is investing in tech companies focused on improving mobile connectivity with 5G technology, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) through the $460 million AI & Blockchain Fund the company established earlier this year.
Fee Free Crypto Exchange Part of Investment Fund
SBI has had a partnership with Ripple since it invested in the company in 2016. As co-owners and operaters of SBI – Ripple Asia they have been dedicated to exploring the use of Ripple’s blockchain to improve international bank transfers. SBI launched its own cryptcurrency exchange earlier this month. VCTRADE charges no transactions fees and is focused on trading XRP, the native token of the San Francisco based company.
The exchange plans to add support for Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash in the coming months as well as including fees for withdrawing yen, though no official date has been given for any of the changes yet.
The company has also reportedly invested in a renewable energy wind farm to mine Bitcoin Cash which Kitao says has the utility potential that Bitcoin lacks. “Bitcoin is too expensive and people are just holding it and hoping it increase in value,” The CEO said before continuing on about the necessity of real utility in technology,
There’s a lot of speculative demand around cryptocurrencies, which is why the price is going up so quickly, but people need to think about how these technologies are being used in real life and how they can improve people’s businesses.”