SBI Holdings, a major Japanese financial services firm, is currently in discussions with foreign financial firms to establish a cryptocurrency joint venture.

SBI’s founder and CEO Yoshitaka Kitao said his firm would “definitely” turn the venture into a core earner for SBI, while adding his firm is considering large scale mergers and acquisitions (MA).

While Kitao noted at least two deals were on the table for discussion with possible joint-venture partners, he declined to disclose further details.

The plans were apparently prompted by cryptocurrency’s entrance into the financial mainstream. “Institutional investors – mainly hedge funds – have recently started investing in cryptocurrencies … Not just institutional investors but also Elon Musk,” Kitao told Reuters on Friday.

Tesla, of which Musk is CEO and founder, disclosed it had bought $1.5 billion in bitcoin last Tuesday under a new investment policy where the car company may “acquire and hold digital assets from time to time or long term.”

Kitao said in order to become “number one,” SBI’s choice would be to buy a leading company or create alliances with other major global companies.

“Our MA strategy will not be something like taking minority stakes in many companies,” he said

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