The Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), the second largest of the three biggest banks in Japan, has announced it is planning to expand into digital asset businesses, including non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and Web3 platforms. The company will partner with Hashport, a group that offers tokenization and listing services in Japan, to launch a token business lab to experiment with these new technologies.
Many traditional banking companies around the world are now considering entering the crypto and digital assets business. SMBC, the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, an institution with more than 463 branches and a presence all over the world, has announced it is going to enter the cryptocurrency asset business, taking NFT services and Web3 as its main priority in the field.
To achieve this goal, SMBC has partnered with Hashport, a company that specializes in offering tokenization solutions and listing services. The press release indicates that SMBC’s business knowledge and Hashport’s Web3 technical solutions will allow the joint venture to build a service platform. It states:
We aim to build an ecosystem involving many players in the NFT domain. We believe that these efforts will contribute to the promotion of Web3 in Japan.
The result of the collaboration will be the establishment of a business token lab, that will “engage in surveys, research, and demonstration experiments related to the promotion of the token business.”
This also coincides with the long-term goal of the company, which is to encourage the spread of the token business in Japan and also establish a division to offer digital custody services. However, the services that SMBC aims to offer go beyond these. The joint venture indicated this move aims to provide “commercialization support and consulting services to customers considering the token business, including the issuance of NFTs.”
The SMBC Group is also considering issuing its own token business in the future, taking advantage of its international presence and its large established userbase. Other Japanese companies have also launched initiatives in this sector, including Rakuten, an online retail company that launched its own NFT marketplace in February. In May, a subsidiary of the group also announced it would partner with Bitbank, a Japanese crypto exchange, to offer cryptocurrency custody services for institutions.
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