TOKYO -- A unit of Japanese financial services group SBI Holdings invested in a U.S. developer of digital marketplaces in an effort to create a cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform for institutional investors.
SBI Crypto Investment had as of Monday purchased 12% of North Carolina-based Clear Markets, a stake that is likely worth about 1 billion yen ($9 million). The price was not disclosed.
Although digital currencies are more volatile than other asset classes, a derivatives market for them that can hedge against risk remains undeveloped. SBI Crypto therefore wants to build a platform that will allow institutional investors to smoothly trade these instruments.
The SBI group earlier this month invested in Canada's Lancium Technologies, which provides wind power to virtual currency "mines," which consume large amounts of electricity. The investment will help SBI lower its environmental burden as a miner of Bitcoin Cash and expand abroad.
Nikkei group company QUICK holds a stake in Clear Markets.