Digital asset issuer Securitize has launched a tokenized platform aimed at encouraging funding in under-invested real estate in rural Japan.
Built in collaboration with Tokyo-based fintech firm LIFULL Social Funding, the crowdfunding platform just finished undergoing joint tests, according to a Securitize blog post on Tuesday. Calling the project "very exciting," Securitize CEO and co-founder Carlos Domingo said this was the beginning for both Securitize and LIFULL to "modernize the Japanese real estate market together."
Although Japan has some of the most densely populated cities in the world, this has come at the expense of the surrounding countryside, which has experienced significant population decline over the decades. It's estimated nearly 900 towns and villages across Japan will be deserted by 2040.
Securitize's platform is designed to open the rural property market up to the outside world, providing much-needed funding to revitalize and even repopulate settlements with low or aging populations. Because there are few restrictions on foreigners buying properties in Japan, the platform can operate with relative regulatory clarity.
Securitize said the crowdfunding platform, which leverages Ethereum-based digital securities, is faster, transparent and more regulatory compliant than comparable legacy systems. Being built on a public blockchain means investors can also review and monitor the flow of funds.
In November, Securitize received a reported seven-figure sum from Japanese investment bank SBI Holdings to open an office in the country. Domingo told CoinDesk at the time the placement would enable his firm to begin offering digital securities to the Japanese market.
Securitize became involved in the crowdfunding platform after it acquired Japanese blockchain consultancy firm BUILDL in December.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.