A blockchain-focused consortium in Japan has quietly grown its membership to more than 100 companies.
Membership within the the Blockchain Collaborative Consortium (BCCC) has expanded since the effort first launched in April. BCCC members include Japan Microsoft, Mitsui Sumotomo Insurance, PwC, Bitbank and ConsenSys, among others.
The group also announced that the 100th student from its Blockchain Daigakko project had successfully graduated – a sign that the BCCC's previously declared plans to boost knowledge about the tech are bearing fruit.
In a blog post published today, Pina Hirano, the founder and CEO of founding BCCC member Infoteria described the Blockchain Daigakko (translated and Blockchain University in English) as the only of its kind in Japan and hinted that the consortium was working toward other education-oriented programs.
"While the world related to FinTech and block chains is moving at a rapid pace, BCCC will add new members' power and make activities more active so that domestic movements will not be delayed."
While Hirano pegged the total consortium membership at 109, the BCCC website currently only lists 101.
Japan and blockchain
Over the past few months Japan has become a hotbed for blockchain exploration and concern.
In November distributed ledger startup Ripple launched its own blockchain consortium with 42 banks aimed at building a network capable of conducting cross-border payments in near real-time.
Earlier this month the Mizuho Financial Group, Inc., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and other banks joined Deloitte Japan in the publication of results of a test of a blockchain-based inter-bank payments trial.
Yet despite the tests, Japan is said to have faced a shortage of blockchain developers, as reported by Reuters earlier this year.
To help solve such problems, the BCCC has graduated two classes of students offered up to 8 courses each, including "practical training" on the "foundation of blockchain technology" specifically including lessons on the bitcoin blockchain. The consortium's 2-month long blockchain classes are also conducted in Japanese.
A third class is currently open for enrollment with courses to begin in January 2017.
Image of first Blockchain Daigakko graduating class via BCCC