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Japan: One Exchange Opens For Residents, Another Pulls Plug on App

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

SBI Group’s long-awaited SBI Virtual Currencies exchange platform has finally begun accepting applications for general usage accounts, over a month after officially launching. Per Nikkei, the platform is now accepting account applications for Japanese residents aged 20 to 70, and will not offer accounts to overseas-based Japanese citizens or corporations.

Source: iStock/Yuuji

The platform is the first to be launched by a major Japanese financial services company, and SBI’s CEO has previously claimed that SBI Virtual Currencies will become the country’s market leader “in the blink of an eye” once standard accounts begin to open.

Meanwhile, Osaka-based Japanese exchange operator Tech Bureau has announced that it will discontinue its smartphone app for the Zaif platform. The company says that both the iOS and Android version of the app will be taken down in mid October, although it appears it will continue support for its wallet apps.

The announcement follows the news earlier this month that Tech Bureau would spin off its software development and sales operations. These include the Mijin subsidy, a blockchain developer that has previously conducted successful banking pilots with the likes of Japan Net Bank and Fujiitsu.

Mijin had only recently released a cloud-based BaaS (Blockchain as a Service) product. The company will now fall under the management of Tech Bureau Holdings, with Tech Bureau itself said to be “focusing on the Zaif platform.”

Tech Bureau has endured a tumultuous past few months. The company has been handed two business improvement orders by the regulatory Financial Services Agency, with the most recent order coming less than a month ago.

Earlier this year a costly gaffe temporarily allowed its exchange customers to make cryptocurrency purchases for zero yen.