By Hannah Perez
SBI’s first cryptocurrency fund is designed for retail investors. Depending on success, the company is considering a second institutional crypto fund.
, the Japanese financial services giant, has plans to launch the country’s first cryptocurrency fund.
As reported by Bloomberg, the financial conglomerate has set a goal to have the fund available before the end of November, offering Japanese investors a new way to gain exposure to digital currencies. As such, the investment vehicle will reportedly offer a basket of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and XRP
Tomoya Asakura, president of SBI subsidiary Morningstar Japan K.K.
told the media that the company expects the fund to grow to several hundred million dollars invested in cryptocurrencies. He added the idea is that this investment vehicle will offer traditional investors in Japan an alternative to diversify their portfolios.
I want people to hold [cryptocurrencies] alongside other assets and experience first-hand how useful it can be for diversifying portfolios.
SBI to launch Japan’s first crypto fund
Asakura, who oversees asset management for Japan’s largest online brokerage, explained that investors may need to deposit a minimum of about 1 million yen (USD $9,100) to 3 million yen (USD $27,300), and that it will primarily target people who understand the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. Such as high volatility.
According to the report, it has taken SBI four years to launch the first cryptocurrency fund due to tightening regulations on such assets in the country.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) banned companies from selling cryptocurrencies through investment trusts, a popular form of investment that SBI initially considered using. The Japanese regulator also requires cryptocurrency exchanges to register and financial platforms seeking to operate to apply for licenses.
Now, the banking giant plans to run the cryptocurrency fund through an “anonymous partnership,” allying with an investor that agrees to supply capital to SBI. Such arrangements are common for private equity funds in Japan, according to Cointelegraph
Asakura commented that the company will work to show the Japanese public and the FSA that cryptocurrencies can be part of a well-balanced investment portfolio rather than “highly volatile and speculative” assets as many believe.
There is an overwhelming perception that cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and speculative. Once people feel this firsthand, they will understand that we are not recommending digital currencies as instruments of speculation.
Growing interest in Bitcoin among Japanese investors
SBI’s senior managing director also advanced that the company is open to launching a second fund designed specifically for institutional investors, if the first one proves successful with enough demand. SBI’s first crypto fund will be launched before December 2021, according to reports.
Despite Japan having stricter regulations than many other countries for cryptocurrency businesses, digital assets are growing in popularity in the Asian country. A few weeks ago, Coinbase, the leading U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, expanded operations to the country with the launch of a local trading platform.
According to Bloomberg, which cited data from the country’s Exchanges Association, cryptocurrency transactions during the first half of 2021 more than doubled year-on-year to 77 trillion yen (USD $701 billion). The number of cryptocurrency user accounts has also increased from 2 million last year, to more than 3 million this 2021.
Version by Hannah Estefania Perez / DiarioBitcoin
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