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Japanese Securities Giant SBI Completes Takeover of Crypto Exchange Bitpoint

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read
Artwork showing a large fish preparing to eat a smaller fish.
Source: Pixs:sell/Adobe

The Japanese securities giant SBI has completed a takeover of the rival crypto exchange Bitpoint. The move consolidates the firm’s increasingly tight grip on the domestic crypto market – and marks the second time it has taken over a domestic rival.

SBI confirmed the move in a post on its website. The company snapped up a controlling (51%) stake in Bitpoint back in May last year. But, the firm wrote, it has now agreed a deal to buy the remaining 49% of Bitpoint’s share. The company did not disclose how much it had paid for the shares.

SBI explained that it would move to make Bitpoint a “wholly owned subsidiary” firm. The company also outright owns the TaoTao crypto trading platform – an exchange that was formerly part-owned by Yahoo Japan. SBI bought TaoTao in 2020. SBI also operates SBI VC Trade, its own organic crypto exchange.

SBI noted that it would use liquidity from its UK-based subsidiary B2C2 to improve existing Bitpoint services. The firm added that it may look to list gaming-related tokens on the platform in the future.

Bitpoint was founded by the points system operator Remixpoint.

Japanese Securities Giants Muscling out Local Crypto Exchange Startups?

The Japanese crypto exchange scene has traditionally been dominated by smaller domestic startups, such as the market-leading bitFlyer.

 A chart showing one-year trading volumes at the crypto exchange bitFlyer.
One-year trading volumes at the Japanese crypto exchange bitFlyer. (Source: CoinGecko)

However, in recent years, securities firms have become increasingly keen on entering the market – and reducing the number of firms they have to compete with. 

The Monex Group, one of SBI’s biggest securities market rivals, bought the Coincheck exchange in 2018. Monex has also been linked with a possible bid for the FTX Japan trading platform, which will be sold by a US bankruptcy court later this year.

Other big-name industries active in the scene include the South Korean-Japanese chat app giant Line and the e-commerce titan Rakuten. Both of these firms operate their own exchanges.

In addition to its exchange interests, SBI also operates a crypto mining subsidiary called SBI Crypto. SBI also operates the SBI-Ripple Asia blockchain network in conjunction with America’s Ripple.