Japanese Banks Unite to Launch Blockchain Finance Platform Services

Five Japanese banks have collaborated to launch blockchain-based financial services infrastructure, the finance platform confirmed in a press release on March 1. Bank of Iwate, Bank of Yokohama, Aomori Bank, Akita Bank and Yamanashi Chuo Bank will work together on the platform, dubbed “Fitting Hub.” The first service available on the platform — electronic delivery service — should launch in April, the press release notes. Previous information had given a timeline for testing to begin in July 2018 and full deployment within a year, as local news agency Nikkei reported…

Crypto Finance Startup Circle Seeking Further $250 Million in Funding: Report

Crypto finance startup Circle Internet Financial is reportedly looking to raise a further $250 million in funding. A report from The Information on Saturday, citing a source with knowledge of the matter, said that Circle is seeking to raise the funding via a combination of equity and debt financing. They added that the reason for the move is that the firm’s business has been affected by the prolonged cryptocurrency bear market. The Goldman Sachs-backed firm has previously raised at least $246 million, according to Crunchbase. It has not confirmed the claim, The…

London Stock Exchange Leads $20 Million Investment in Finance Tokenization Startup

The London Stock Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) has led a $20 million investment round in fintech startup Nivaura, Reuters reported on Feb. 27. The British blockchain startup is the developer of the world’s reportedly first crypto-denominated, blockchain-settled bond. According to Reuters, LSEG paid an undisclosed amount for a minority equity stake in Nivaura.  The startup provides blockchain solutions that automate the issuance, clearing and settlement of financial instruments, including bond issuance and tokenized securities. Alongside LSEG, Banco Santander’s venture capital arm, Santander InnoVentures, was reportedly among the investors in Nivaura.…

CEO of Japanese Finance Giant SBI Vests His Crypto Industry Hopes in Ripple and R3

Yoshitaka Kitao, CEO and representative director of Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings, has singled out Ripple (XRP) and blockchain consortium R3 as reasons to remain optimistic about the future of the crypto industry — bear market notwithstanding. Kitao made his remarks during an interview with Japanese crypto news outlet Coin Post on Feb. 18. SBI Holdings is an active partner of Ripple via their joint venture, “SBI Ripple Asia,” established to promote the use of XRP in Asian financial markets back in 2016. In his interview with Coin Post,…

Japan’s Number Two Bank by Assets Completes R3 Blockchain-Based Trade Finance Trial

Japan’s second-largest bank by assets, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), has completed a proof-of-concept (PoC) using blockchain consortium R3’s Marco Polo trade finance platform. A press release confirmed the PoC completion on Feb. 18. SMBC, which is the only Japanese bank participating in Marco Polo, said it had partnered with Japanese multinational Mitsui & Co. to enhance efficiency in trade processes. “[The] PoC was conducted between SMBC and Mitsui & Co. which aims to improve productivity in its trade operations, by testing modules such as Receivable Finance and Payment Commitment…

New Guidance to Implement Blockchain in Agriculture Finance Sector

The Chinese government has issued the “Guiding Opinions on Rural Service Revitalization of Financial Services,” according to an official announcement on Feb. 11. The new framework is part of a plan to improve the efficiency of financial services for the country’s rural revitalization program. The guidance will purportedly help promote the application of new technologies in the rural financial sector, such as blockchain, to “improve the identification, monitoring, early warning, and disposal levels of agricultural credit risks.” The Guiding Opinions were jointly issued by the People’s Bank of China, the…

General Motors’ Finance Arm Joins Blockchain Data Security Initiative

United States automotive giant General Motors (GM) has become the latest member to join blockchain startup Spring Labs’ partner project to enhance data security, the company confirmed in a press release Feb. 11. GM, which has experimented with the technology before, will join the Spring Founding Industry Partners (SPIF) Program, which launched in January. Now with almost 20 participants, the scheme aims to address issues in data provenance through collaborative research. Spring Labs, as Cointelegraph reported, plans to release its first related products this year. “As the captive finance arm…

90% of Finance Professionals Think Blockchain Will Have a Positive Impact

A TD Bank survey revealed that 90 percent of treasury and finance professionals think that blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) will positively affect the payments industry, according to a press release published on Feb. 6. The survey, conducted by top ten United States-based bank TD — a subsidiary of the Canadian multinational Toronto-Dominion Bank — involved 406 industry professionals at the 2018 AFP Conference held Nov. 5-6, 2018, in Chicago, Illinois. The answers collected reportedly also reveal that only 14 percent of the respondents said that their organization has…

Coincheck Q3 Finance Report Shows Twofold Improvement Since Trading Resumed

Japanese online broker Monex Group — owner of previously hacked cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck — released its financial report on Q3 for the 2019 fiscal year on Jan. 31. The report shows that the trading platform halved its losses in Q3, as compared with the preceding quarter. The results of the report cover the third quarter ending March 31, 2019. They indicate that Monex’s crypto asset segment — comprised of Coincheck, which was acquired by Monex in April 2018 — reported an overall loss of 300 million yen (~$2.76 million ).…

Japanese Finance Giant SBI Holdings, Blockchain Firm R3 Officially Announce Joint Venture

Japanese financial services company SBI Holdings has officially announced a joint agreement with the United States blockchain consortium R3 to work in Japan, according to a press release published on Jan. 29. Back in December, SBI Holdings had already revealed its plans — according to an interview with R3’s CEO — to partner with software enterprise R3 to develop local use of its Corda blockchain platform, Cointelegraph reported on Dec. 6. Yesterday’s press release was an official announcement of the partnership. SBI Holdings and R3’s joint agreement aims to promote…