Japan’s financial services giant SBI Holdings has announced that it has made the second round of investment in troubled cryptocurrency exchange LastRoots to help them become a registered trading platform. The amount of investment has not been disclosed.
The first investment in LastRoots was made in December 2017 by the SBI Group. SBI explained in a statement (loosely translated):
"With this additional investment, the SBI Group dispatched officers to LastRoots in order to respond to the order of business improvement received from Kanto Local Finance Bureau on April 6, 2018 to strengthen the management system. We will support currency exchange business registration and business growth."
LastRoots raised over 600 million yen ($5.4 million) in an initial coin offering (ICO) in July 2016. It was one of the unlicensed cryptocurrency exchanges to be probed by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) in the wake of Coincheck’s $530 million hack in January of this year.
The FSA found that LastRoots had insufficient measures in place to protect investors against potential cyber threats and served the company with a business improvement order in April 2018. Last week, FSA reportedly stated that while registrations of new exchange operators would once again be possible, they will be subject to increased scrutiny.
Last month, SBI's own cryptocurrency exchange VCTRADE (world’s first bank-backed cryptocurrency exchange) got opened for the general public after gaining regulatory licensing. In March of this year, SBI acquired a 40 percent stake in Taiwanese wallet provider CoolBitX. Just over a month later, in April, SBI also contributed to an investment round in New York-based Templum, who are looking to build a platform for the trading of digital assets and securities. SBI said in a statement (loosely translated):
"The SBI Group is expanding its contribution and partnerships with digital asset-related venture companies and will promote the creation of digital asset real demand through investment in domestic and overseas venture companies that are engaged in business utilizing digital assets and developing new products. We believe that it will contribute to the expansion and development of digital asset industry/business in the future."