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Japanese Think Tank NRI Considers Expanding Blockchain Research

(@pete_rizzo_) | Published on January 13, 2016 at 13:23 BST
Feature

A leading Japan-based think tank is considering ways it could build on its existing exploration of blockchain technology.

First announced in late 2015, Nomura Research Institute (NRI), an affiliate of Nomura Holdings, is already working on private proof-of-concepts (P0Cs) with Nomura Securities and SBI Sumishin Net Bank (SBI Sumishin). The Tokyo-based firm is exploring the technology’s use cases in Japan, a region where there have been relatively few blockchain industry developments.

In a new interview with CoinDesk, Kazumitsu Yokokawa, head of the financial services research and technology group at NRI America, said:

"Blockchain could be used for many industries, including retailers and enterprises, and we are interested in exploring these."

Yokokawa said NRI sees a business case in exploring blockchain tech given the demand by groups like Nomura and SBI Sumishin for research into applications in securities and banking.

Still, he inferred NRI is looking at these partnerships strategically as it seeks to gather its own expertise in the subject area.

"The purpose of these PoCs is to come up with practical ways to use blockchain in the future for these industries beyond financial industry."

Bridging interests

For its part, NRI sees itself as an enabler of exploration in the industry due to its ability to identify "innovative blockchain vendors" and to coordinate between these groups and more established financial organizations.

"Blockchain study requires both innovative technologies and financial knowledge. SBI Sumishin, Dragonfly Fintech and NRI as a team will provide these essential elements of industry knowledge and cutting-edge technology for blockchain PoC," Yokokawa said.

Following the completion of its initial PoCs, Yokokawa said NRI will make its own determinations on how to move forward with the program.

For now, however, he stated that the firm is comfortable with its leadership position in the space, concluding:

“We are the first and only one [working with blockchain] in the securities market in Japan. In the banking industry, we are also early adopters."

Image via Shutterstock

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