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Customers of the crypto-focused subsidiary of Japanese financial giant SBI Group, SBI VC Trade, can now make use of the firm’s new cryptocurrency lending service, the company said in a press release on 24 November.

Called VC Trade Lending, the service will allow users to lend their crypto holdings to the company, and earn an annual interest rate of 1%. The new platform will initially only support the top crypto asset, Bitcoin (BTC), though the firm has stated its intention to add support for Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) in the future.

According to the announcement, the firm will not charge its customers with deposit, account management, or annual membership fees for using the service, but will only charge for yen withdrawals. The new platform will also have lending limits, starting with 0.1 BTC for the minimum amount, and capping at 5 BTC for the maximum.

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The firm also assured its customers that the destination of their cryptocurrencies are all SBI Group-related companies, that are “proud of their high reliability.” SBI also pointed out that its know-how and extensive track record will help to create new products and provide more trading options.

Earlier this year, SBI expanded its reach in the crypto industry through its acquisition of cryptocurrency exchange TaoTao. The deal was made through SBI’s foreign exchange and derivatives arm SBI Liquidity Market on 7 October. The firm also has an active partnership with Ripple, and its CEO, Yoshitaka Kitao, went as far as to claim that if Ripple ever decided to leave the United States, it would most likely relocate to Japan.

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