SBI Financial Services, a subsidiary of Japanese financial conglomerate SBI Holdings, has acquired crypto market-making firm B2C2.
The deal, first reported by Reuters, comes several months after the Japanese firm acquired a minority stake in the UK-based B2C2, which earlier this year said it would expand its business into so-called prime brokerage services.
Since the summer, SBI has been providing its clients access to B2C2's platform. According to a press release, B2C2's over-the-counter trading volumes have quadrupled since it partnered with SBI.
"With Bitcoin hitting an all time high this month, it is dawning on everyone in finance that crypto is here to stay," commented B2C2 founder Max Boonen. "The timing could not be better for SBI, a financial conglomarate admired for its farsightedness, who is not simply dipping in but opening a new chapter for the industry."
As previously reported by The Block, B2C2 has been leveraging its relationship with SBI to lure some of Japan's largest trading houses—including the likes of Mitsubishi and Mitsui—into the market.
"The crypto scene is definitely very new to them, so they've never really had a need for it. They've only invested in crypto-related projects," commented Yamazaki, B2C2's VP of sales and trading for APAC.
“We’re starting to see some real interests and curiosity from these guys."
Although terms of the deal were not disclosed, it will serve as the foundation of a new cryptocurrency dealing desk by SBI. The firms hope it will "create the counter-party of choice for mainstream financial firms looking to invest in cryptocurrencies," according to Reuters.
Founded in 2015, B2C2 is among the largest cryptocurrency market-making firms and is known for being a pioneer in electronic trading in the market.
“B2C2 has an exceptional reputation for its world-class products and services, superb technology and valuable client base. 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," SBI Holdings CEO Yoshitaka Kitao said in a statement.
The deal follows a number of acquisitions in the digital asset market, including Coinbase's acquisition of aspiring prime broker Tagomi and Genesis Global Trading's acquisition of custodian Vo1t.