Japan’s SBI Sumishin Building Blockchain Banking Proof-of-Concept

Pete Rizzo
Dec 16, 2015 at 18:11 UTC
Updated Dec 17, 2015 at 02:15 UTC
NEWS

Japan’s SBI Sumishin Net Bank has announced it will develop a proof-of-concept (POC) aimed at exploring blockchain banking with Nomura Research Institute (NRI).

While details about the project are scarce, NRI said it will seek to “examine business scenarios” with the goal of preparing a prototype for SBI Sumishin.

Dragonfly Fintech Pte, a blockchain firm founded by one of the core developers of the cryptocurrency project New Economic Movement, will serve as the project’s blockchain tech provider.

Founded in 2007, SBI Sumishin is a joint venture between Japan’s largest trust bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, and SBI Holdings. As of 31st March, company data indicates the business had 2.31 million customer accounts with a deposit balance of ¥3.5tn (roughly $29.3bn at press time).

SBI Sumishin specializes in housing loans, offering ¥2.2tn (about $18.6bn) in housing loans over the course of fiscal year 2015, according to the company’s 2015 annual report.

In statements, NRI senior management director Minoru Yokote cited the project as an example of how the organization is seeking to embrace distributed financial technologies.

Yokote said:

“NRI is committed to examining technical challenges of blockchain and suggesting ways to apply this technology to the banking industry.”

The country’s oldest private think tank, NRI announced it would begin seeking to collaborate with financial incumbents on blockchain projects in October, at the time declining to name any of its potential partners.

Japanese yen image via Shutterstock

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