SBI Makes Strategic Investment in Digital Asset to Accelerate Growth in Japan
New partnership plans to establish Japan-based joint venture
May 27, 2022
Coming off a successful first quarter, Digital Asset continues to build momentum with the announcement of a new strategic investor, SBI Holdings (SBI), a financial services group based in Tokyo, Japan. The announcement was made by SBI as part of its FY2021 full-year results on May 27, 2022 in Tokyo.
SBI’s investment follows Digital Asset’s Series D financing round which closed in April, 2021 and brought in $120 million of capital from private equity firms 7RIDGE and Eldridge. In addition to the investment, SBI announced it has agreed to establish a joint venture (JV) with Digital Asset. The JV is expected to formally launch in 2022 and operate under equal ownership within the Japanese and East Asian markets.
One of the first initiatives on which Digital Asset and SBI are collaborating is to drive Digital Asset’s concept for programmable money into the Japanese market through a newly created 'smart yen' program, which will address key retail banking challenges around customer growth and retention. The smart yen concept for Japan takes the benefits of Daml and applies them to programmable money—a digital currency that has been coded to move between parties when predetermined conditions are met. When using Daml for smart yen, or any fiat currency, the technology is implemented as an overlay to the existing payment infrastructure, thus resulting in minimal disruption to current systems. Through this approach, core cash systems are able to execute condition-based payments or reward programs automatically, thereby encouraging consumers and merchants to transact. This provides valuable customer experiences for individual and merchant account holders and reduces costs, improving profit margins for retail banks.
Smart yen is the first of several smart cash initiatives Digital Asset plans to develop in other countries. Digital Asset is also actively involved in key discussions about digital currencies, particularly central bank digital currency (CBDC), and the necessary frameworks needed to drive successful implementations. The company recently published a report with Dr. Giovanni Bandi, Fellow and Regulatory Genome Project Director at Cambridge University, about CBDCs for cross-border payments titled CBDC: From the Philosophical to Practical for Global Adoption.
Click here to read SBI’s PR.