Business 31 January 2019

Paul How

R3 partners with SBI to speed up adoption of Corda in Japan

Japanese financial services firm SBI Holdings, Inc. has partnered with blockchain consortium R3 to increase the reach of the Corda blockchain in the East Asian region.

SBI, which is R3’s largest shareholder, said that the joint venture will aid in the use of Corda in a variety of fields, including finance, real estate, and supply chain management.

Even prior to the announcement, the SBI Group was holding training programs in Japan specifically for the use of Corda.

According to SBI, the partnership “will support provision and introduction of the Corda license, arrange schemes for its actual use beforehand, as well as promote collaboration with overseas offices of R3 and other Corda partners.”

Apart from the collaboration and investment in R3, SBI has launched several blockchain projects. In August, the financial giant invested an undisclosed amount in Japanese exchange LastRoots, which had previously been flagged by the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) for failure to comply with regulatory requirements. It has also backed Breadwinner AG’s BRD wallet, and partnered with startup Sepior in creating a secure online wallet.

For the handling of cross-border payments, SBI has joined forces with Kenya-based BitPesa.

R3, in its separate statement, said that the agreement with SBI will also focus on commercial application of the Corda network, with SBI leveraging “its unparalleled network of regional contacts among financial institutions and corporates to accelerate the adoption of Corda.”

R3 added that Japanese companies will get to connect with over 300 members of the consortium.

SBI CEO Yoshitaka Kitao said, “[T]he development of Corda has progressed smoothly and is now in the commercialization stage. In order to spread this innovative technology, it is essential to provide proper support. SBI strongly commits in the support for establishment of framework/partnership for the well-development of R3’s Corda in Japan and East Asian Region.”

R3 CEO David Rutter, for his part, said that the combination of SBI and R3’s experience provides “a compelling and unique offer for firms in the region. We are building a network of the best institutions, technologists and services to ensure that Corda is the default choice for enterprise blockchain. This partnership is a crucial step on that journey.”

The Corda network is also being used in Thailand’s central bank’s development of a digital currency, as well as  Amazon Web Services, for users to develop their applications on it.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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