Top CEO Spurns Both Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV, Takes Ripple Role
The outspoken president and CEO of Japanese financial giant SBI Group, Yoshitaka Kitao, has shed further light on SBI Virtual Currencies’ decision earlier this month to delist Bitcoin Cash (BCH.)
In April, Kitao told board members at an SBI end-of-fiscal-year meeting, “Coins that regularly experience hard forks are ludicrous.” Bitcoin Cash experienced a hard fork in November last year, which is believed was one of the reasons of the whole market crash that month.
Kitao added, “We originally intended to support Bitcoin Cash, but Jihan Wu [former CEO of Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain] and Craig Wright [the infamous proponent of Bitcoin SV, the hard fork of BCH] had a disagreement, leading to the advent of Bitcoin Cash ABC and Bitcoin SV. Jihan Wu succeeded in retaining control of the name Bitcoin Cash, but we have decided to cease dealing with both tokens.”
BCH is the 5th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Bitcoin SV - 13th.
SBI originally cited “security concerns” as one of its main reasons for delisting Bitcoin Cash, at a time when many international platforms were moving to delist Bitcoin SV. However, SBI Virtual Currencies later told Cryptonews.com that the timing of its Bitcoin Cash delisting was purely “coincidental.”
A number of media outlets were quick to point out that Kitao and Craig White have a long-standing business relationship, but SBI also dismissed this as a factor in its decision-making, saying that it had no plans to list Bitcoin SV either.
Kitao was also last week appointed as a board member of Ripple, a California-based crypto start-up focusing on the banking sector. SBI and Ripple have a long-standing relationship, and have formed SBI Ripple Asia, a joint venture, continent-wide payments platform initiative that makes use of the RippleNet, a global payment network, infrastructure.
Interestingly, Kitao is replacing Takashi Okita, the CEO of SBI Ripple Asia, on the Ripple board – perhaps reflecting Kitao’s wish to personally play a leading role in domestic and international cryptocurrency-related affairs.
It is shaping up to be an interesting summer in Japan’s cryptocurrency scene. As SBI makes its presence felt, two big-name competitors are waiting in the wings, with e-commerce giant Rakuten and search engine Yahoo Japan eager to launch crypto exchanges of their own.