42 Banks Join New Japanese Blockchain Consortium
42 banks are joining a newly-created Japanese blockchain consortium to enhance the cross-border payment industry. The consortium will focus on research and development, and will cover domestic and foreign exchange services by utilizing blockchain technology.
The Japanese blockchain organization launched this week with 42 financial institutions and SBI Holdings joining — with SBI Ripple Asia at the helm. The consortium believes there has been a significant paradigm shift in customers’ behavior and social life, and there’s a need for diversified frictionless payments.
Some of the biggest needs in the future will be “24-hour and real-time settlement and small-value settlement.” The group says a “borderless trend” is creating significant cross-border e-commerce, with Japanese business expanding into other Asian countries.
The consortium will concentrate on researching distributed ledger technology. The plan is to build a 24-hour real-time remittance infrastructure, and a proof-of-concept by next March.
Soliciting each member bank for the new consortium began in late August, said the group. Originally it was only supposed to be 15 member banks by October and 30 by March of next year. However, the organization said there is immense interest and active responses, drawing in 42 members. Organizers believe membership will continue to grow as application launches expand.
The consortium’s banks include Aomori Bank, Awa Bank, Shinsei Bank, Bank of Yokohama, SBI Sumishin Net Bank, Mizuho Bank, and many more.
SBI Holdings Building a Cryptocurrency Exchange
A few days ago, SBI also announced the upcoming launch of a new exchange called SBI Virtual Currencies Co., Ltd. The translated press release explained the exchange’s creation is due to “virtual currency including Bitcoin attracting high interest.”
The firm has not stated which cryptocurrencies the exchange will support. However, the move has 300 million yen in funding to get the project started. The information SBI provided explained the new body will have its headquarters in Tokyo, and will release other details later.
“It should be noted that, with regard to the details of the business start date and the services provided, will be announced as soon as they are determined,” said the SBI Group press release.
Pushing the Blockchain Envelope Throughout Asia
The Japan-based financial services group has continuously progressed towards blockchain innovation. The firm has also teamed with Ripple Labs to forward distributed ledger applications. Ripple Asia is a subsidiary of SBI, and the primary focus has been building bridges for better cross-border payments.
Back in August, the financial services group detailed the idea of creating both an exchange service and blockchain consortium. Previously, SBI had partnered with the Bank of Yokohama and SBI Sumishin Net Bank to initiate its goals towards this effort.
So far, the institution has been a leader in Japan, advancing these technologies while also investing in startups such as Bitflyer. SBI is very optimistic towards blockchain growth in the fintech industry and will continue to bolster the environment. The 42 bank-enlisted blockchain consortium will be just one of the foundations built to push the overall vision.
“Blockchain technology represents innovative and key technology in fintech, offering the potential for users to build a system of higher flexibility and efficiency while improving the stability of financial institution systems,” said SBI Holdings.