Japanese financial group SBI Holdings is reportedly planning to set up a cryptocurrency joint venture with foreign financial institutions.

SBI chairman Yoshitaka Kitao said the Japanese company is in talks with other financial institutions to create a cryptocurrency project, Reuters reported on February 15. The SBI chief said he currently has two potential deals.

As part of this initiative, SBI is exploring the possibility of major mergers and acquisitions. Kitao said such an agreement would be necessary for SBI to maintain its position as a leading financial services company:

“To become number one in the world, we choose to buy a leading company or form an alliance with large international companies […] Our M&A strategy will not be the same as buying minority stakes in many companies.”
SBI’s plans for an upcoming cryptocurrency project appear to be pushed by big financial institutions like Tesla and Mastercard, which announced plans for cryptocurrencies last week.

“Institutional investors, especially hedge funds, have recently started investing in cryptocurrencies […] not only by institutional investors, but also by Elon Musk,” Kitau said.

Kitao has not identified potential partners. SBI did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.

In December 2020, SBI announced the creation of a cryptocurrency-related joint venture with the most important Swiss exchange, the SIX Swiss Exchange. As part of this initiative, SIX Digital Exchange and SBI Digital Asset Holdings are launching a new crypto platform in Singapore.