One of Japan’s largest banks is working with IBM on a series of blockchain trials.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, Limited announced today that it is exploring applications related to finance, real estate and asset custody.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank is a member of the R3 blockchain consortium, having joined the group last December. Earlier this year, the bank announced that it was partnering with several institutions in Japan, including Osaka-based Kinki University, to research applications of the technology. Today’s announcement suggests that the research has spurred the bank to begin developing prototypes alongside IBM Japan and domestic IT firm NEC Corporation.

The bank said in a statement:

“The experiments aim to assess the possibilities and validate the effectiveness of utilizing revolutionary IT technologies to achieve dramatic improvement or streamlining of existing services and operations.”

The bank further said that it would work with a joint venture between SBI Holdings and Ripple on testing cross-border remittances using the technology. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank said that, in the long term, it hopes to “create new remittance/settlement services utilizing blockchain technology”.

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