Japanese financial giant SBI debuts Bitcoin lending service

SBI plans to add support for Ether and XRP lending in the near future.

Japanese financial giant SBI Group is introducing a cryptocurrency lending service through its crypto-related subsidiary, SBI VC Trade.

According to an official announcement on Nov. 24, the new crypto lending platform will allow users to lend their crypto to SBI and earn interest at a rate of 1% with taxes included.

The new service, dubbed VC Trade Lending, will initially support the major cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC), with SBI further planning to add support for Ether (ETH) and XRP. The minimum lending amount is 0.1 BTC, or $1,840 at publishing time, while the maximum amount is capped at 5 BTC, or $92,000.

SBI said that VC Trade Lending will have no account management fees or annual membership fees. The service will also not charge any fees for deposits made in Japanese yen or crypto, but still charges a fee for yen withdrawals.

SBI is a major financial institution in Japan involved in the crypto industry. In early October 2020, SBI’s foreign exchange and derivatives arm SBI Liquidity Market acquired TaoTao, a crypto exchange formerly 40% owned by Yahoo Japan’s YJFX. The firm is also running its own crypto business through its subsidiary SBI VC Trade. 

SBI is also a major partner of Ripple, a company that builds financial products on XRP, the fourth biggest crypto by market capitalization at publishing time. In late October 2020, SBI CEO Yoshitaka Kitao claimed that Ripple will most likely relocate to Japan should it choose to leave the United States.

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