The SBI group, a Japanese financial conglomerate, is one of the biggest backers of Blockchain Company Ripple since 2016. The companies have collaborated to form SBI Ripple Asia, and have worked on several projects ever since. Now, SBI wants to take XRP use into e-sports as it has announced plans to compensate its e-sports players in Ripple’s native currency.
According to the official announcement, SBI e-sports, a subsidiary of the SBI group, will be paying the salary of its players in XRP from here on as a part of a sponsorship deal with Venture capital firm, VC trade.
“Through this partnership, if a player belonging to “SBI e-Sports” wishes to do so, the annual salary will be paid by the crypto asset XRP,” a rough translation of the announcement reads.
SBI e-Sports backs professional teams, coordinates with industry media, and provides consulting services for the e-sports industry. The move comes as a part of the company’s efforts to promote the use of cryptocurrencies while also strengthening the presence of the company among e-sports players who already use crypto.
Data suggests that the esports market has been booming lately, with its revenue going from $776.4 million in 2018 to $957.5 million last year. By 2023, the industry’s revenue is expected to get close to the $1.6 billion mark.
The announcement also states that this move is a means to diversify the company’s portfolio within the blockchain industry, adding that the goal here is to “create and nurture a healthy market based on customer-centricity, improve prices, and expand liquidity.”
At the time of writing, XRP boasts a market capitalization of $10,971,143,815, making it the fourth-largest crypto-based on market capitalization.
Ripple and SBI
However, this isn’t Ripple’s first venture into the world of gaming, as the company’s investment arm, the Xpring initiative, joined hands with blockchain platform Forte, to start a $100 million fund to support game developers and also boost the adoption of blockchain technology in the gaming industry.
As for SBI holdings, the company revealed its plan to integrate Ripple’s settlement platform MoneyTap with ATMs run by various banks throughout Japan, to allow users to seamlessly access their funds irrespective of the banks they are a customer of.
Back in June, SBI also announced plans for launching the nation’s first crypto focused asset fund with a 50% allocation of XRP.