UK-based Wirex has formed a joint venture with fintech investing powerhouse SBI Holdings to launch a cryptocurrency payments card in Japan.
Wirex already offers a Visa-backed cryptocurrency debit card but the new JV, called SBI Wirex Asia, will soon roll out a Yen denominated option. In addition, the partners plan to move into other Asian markets.
Wataru Kojima, CEO, Wirex Japan, says: "Japan leads the world in bitcoin regulation and our accountants are armed with the tools to accept bitcoin on balance sheets. I will ensure Japan maintains our preeminent position in this space though providing the most innovative and cost-effective technologies globally."
The partnership comes months after SBI Group invested $3 million in Wirex, as the Japanese FS giant seeks to build up its expertise in the DLT and cryptocurrency realm. It has also joined the R3 blockchain consortium, while its securities division has taken part in a distributed ledger pilot with the Japan Exchange, IBM and NRI.
In addition, the group's online bank is working with NRI to use blockchain tech for things such as bank account transactions and balance enquiries. And yet another distributed ledger partnership sees SBI working with Ripple to build an international remittance system platform in Asia.