Japanese SBI Holdings’ subsidiary SBI Financial Services has acquired London-based cryptocurrency trading firm B2C2, boosting its plans to launch a digital asset trading service, Reuters reported today.
“Their vision, expertise and offering complement SBI’s, and we look forward to working in partnership as we expand our footprint across the global markets,” said Yoshitaka Kitao, president and CEO of SBI Holdings.
However, the companies did not disclose any financial details of the deal. In July, SBI reportedly acquired a minority stake in B2C2, allowing its clients to trade crypto via the platform.
Since 2015, B2C2 helps institutional players—such as brokerage firms, exchanges, banks, and fund managers—to trade large amounts of cryptocurrencies. As Decrypt reported, the firm is one of the largest cryptocurrency liquidity providers today. In early 2020, B2C2 also partnered with Fidelity-backed institutional platform Fireblocks.
“A lot of people have been dismissive for a long time. Bitcoin’s price at an all-time high has put concerns to rest,” added B2C2 founder Max Boonen today.
According to him, B2C2 plans to increase its staff from 50 to 70 people following the acquisition. Simultaneously, the firm’s team in Japan will relocate to SBI’s offices.
This deal continues the latest trend as major traditional finance companies are moving into the digital assets space. For example, Christine Sandler, head of sales and marketing at Fidelity Digital Assets, recently explained why interest in Bitcoin surged among institutional investors in 2020.
“What we did see in 2020 was a broader adoption of that ‘digital gold’ narrative, it began to resonate with other pockets of institutional investors, namely hedge funds, ultra-high net worth individuals and subsequently family offices,” said Sandler, adding, “So we saw a broadening of the base in terms of the types of clients that we were seeing engaging with the ecosystem.”
Perhaps SBI’s latest expansion into the cryptoshpere will broaden this base even further.