Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings and blockchain consortium startup R3 have formed a joint venture to boost the adoption of R3’s Corda platform in Japan and beyond.

Announcing the news on Tuesday, SBI said that the new venture, SBI R3 Japan, will be setting up and licensing the Corda platform for new customers, as well as providing collaboration with R3’s global offices and other Corda partners. Eventually, the plan is to expand the business across the Eastern Asian region.

SBI Holdings – which says it is the largest outside shareholder in R3 – has a 60 percent stake in the new entity, while R3 has 40 percent, the firm said. The venture launches with capital of 500 million yen (or $4.57 million).

Outside its operations in traditional finance, SBI Holdings is dipping its toes into a number of areas of blockchain-based finance. It notably operates Japan’s first bank-backed, government-licensed cryptocurrency exchange, VCTRADE, which was launched in June 2018 through its subsidiary SBI Virtual Currencies.

Last April, its Russian commercial bank subsidiary SBI Bank LLC joined R3’s Corda platform.

It’s also been working with another major blockchain tech provider, teaming up with Ripple last October to launch a consumer-focused blockchain money transfer app called MoneyTap. And, last week, it invested $15 million in Swiss startup Tangem, maker of a slimline hardware wallet for cryptocurrencies.

R3 most recently signed a deal with Dutch banking group ING, licensing the firm for use of Corda Enterprise across its services.

Tokyo image via Shutterstock 

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