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42 Banks Join Blockchain Consortium in Japan

Japanese bank SBI Group has launched a blockchain consortium focused on its domestic market.

Nov 1, 2016 at 12:22 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:35 p.m. UTC

Forty-two local and regional banks in Japan have joined a new blockchain consortium focused on cross-border payments.

Launched by financial services group SBI and a joint venture co-launched with distributed ledger startup Ripple, the consortium’s membership includes a wide range of both large and smaller institutions. The launch of the consortium comes days after SBI announced that it would establish its own digital currency exchange in Japan.

Those involved in the project plan to share resources and collaborate on a cross-border proof-of-concept, with an eye to create a basis for commercial-scale products next year.

SBI said in a statement:

"The Consortium will promote discussion, from both technical and operational perspectives, on activities required in domestic and foreign exchange services to utilize blockchain and other new technologies, consolidate domestic and foreign exchange services, and build 24-hour and real-time remittance infrastructure, and will try to finish PoC by next March to move forward commercial base."

SBI said that efforts to organize the consortium began in August, with an initial aim to launch with 15 member banks. The group’s ranks swelled following a period of “active responses” during the solicitation phase, the company said.

The SBI-backed consortium is the latest effort of its kind to emerge. Similar organizations, formed among Russian financial firms or European insurance companies, have launched in recent weeks.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Ripple.

Japan currency image via Shutterstock

DISCLOSURE

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.

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