On Thursday, Japan-based BOOSTRY launched the website of its open-source initiative, ibet. Through ibet, the blockchain bonds firm plans to release its token templates, smart contracts, and trading code to the public.
BOOSTRY was established in September as a joint venture between financial services firm Nomura (66%) and tech provider Nomura Research Institute (NRI) (34%). With a capital of $11 million, the initiative hoped to use blockchain to streamline securities trading, particularly corporate bonds.
Meanwhile, ibet was first mentioned by Nomura in last year’s financial report, only as a “new platform that links issuers with investors”. This was before BOOSTRY, the idea may have changed. Now, it is “a platform that uses blockchain technology to issue and trade various digitized rights including financial products,” according to its website.
Currently in private beta, ibet was built by BOOSTRY’s developers to open-source its software through a consortium blockchain. To join, users must contact BOOSTRY for approval to run a participant node, though the firm plans to involve more companies as node operators. These companies may be issuers using ibet to link with investors, as was previously intended.
Technical specifications and source code will be released “soon”, allowing anyone to use the software on their own rights trading project. Types of tokens and trading rules will be standardized in smart contracts for ease of use. As the site explains: “The [BOOSTRY] development community will build an open development system with the aim of improving the publicness and transparency of the platform.”
The joint venture uses Digital Asset’s smart contracting language DAML, but it is unconfirmed whether the materials offered through ibet will too.
BOOSTRY and ibet are far from the firms’ first blockchain project. Nomura is an early supporter of R3, a governing member of Hedera Hashgraph, and has a separate joint venture with Ledger. It first worked with NRI, of which it owns a third, on blockchain in 2015 for equities.
The news comes two weeks after Nomura’s competitor, MUFG, established a blockchain consortium for researching security tokens. Members include Mitsubishi, Accenture, and KPMG. Like BOOSTRY, the emphasis is on corporate bonds.