The UK-based bitcoin banking platform Wirex plans to use the funding received from the Japanese financial holding SBI Group to increase the company’s reach and add new products.

Wirex lists support to its expansion plans, development of new features, licensing and security among its first priorities for the near term. The new added services may include contactless bitcoin payments, contactless cards and new bitcoin-based financial products. Furthermore, Wirex intends to extend the list of supported currencies adding the Japanese yen. As of now, supported fiat currencies include the US dollar, euro and British pound.

“Japan is a key market for bitcoin-compatible financial products and services, and one of our fastest-growing customer base,” said Pavel Matveev, co-founder of Wirex Limited.

Erik Voorhees, CEO of ShapeShift, has welcomed the announcement, Wirex being one of the company’s partners.


Wirex is a hybrid banking platform offering services for personal finance management. It allows exchange transactions between fiat and cryptocurrencies. Wirex has over 500,000 customers in more than 130 countries over the world. The company’s offices are located in London, Tokyo and Kiev, Ukraine. The platform was founded by Russian natives Pavel Matveev, Dmitry Lazarichev and Roman Potemkin.

Japanese investors have been showing a growing interest towards cryptocurrency startups encouraged by positive changes in domestic financial legislation. In May 2017, the Japanese regulator is expected to grant cryptocurrencies an official legal status.

The Japanese market is the second biggest in the world by trade volume. According to Bitcoinity, the monthly trade volume on the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer reaches 644,000 BTC with a market share of 17.04%.

Elena Platonova

Image via Flickr