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Dentsu joins Japanese blockchain consortium for copyright, content monetization

japan contents blockchain initiative

On 8 September 2020, four more Japanese companies joined Japan’s Content Blockchain Initiative (JCBI), bringing the member count to eleven. The latest additions included Dentsu, a top five global ad agency. Launched in February, JCBI was established to manage copyright information using a blockchain-based platform.

The group hopes to accelerate the digital transformation of Japan’s media and content industry using blockchain. Apart from enabling the secure sharing of copyrighted data, the consortium aims to co-create new businesses to grow the content sector. JCBI consortium described the platform as an autonomous and decentralized platform.

Currently, JCBI’s platform offers two services. Card Hunter allows subscriber firms to distribute content through TV programs. C-Guardian protects digital content copyright. JCBI member companies may also develop their own services on the platform and make them available to other members.

Consortium Members and their blockchain endeavors

The consortium’s newest members are Dentsu, Dentsu International Information Services (ISID), Avex Technologies, and startup SingulaNet

The consortium’s biggest win is the addition of Dentsu, the world’s fifth-largest advertising agency, which pulled in $9.6 billion in revenue in 2020. Before joining JCBI, in January 2020, Dentsu launched a joint research project called “nth distribution project” which looked at the monetization of content. As we reported, it explores monetizing fan-generated content for collectible manga comics.

Another JCBI addition is ISID, an IT consulting firm and Dentsu subsidiary. In January 2020, ISID launched “SMAGt,” standing for SMart, AGriculture, Traceability. It is an agtech data distribution platform that uses blockchain to visualize agricultural produce production history and transaction status.

The other two new members of JCBI are both startups. Avex is a technology firm focused on IP creation using cloud and blockchain technology. In July 2019, Avex launched “A trust“, a blockchain solution that grants digital content certificates, guaranteeing their genuine value. Purchasers of the content receive certificates, proving ownership. SingulaNet is a blockchain consultancy services firm that created a blockchain-based app ‘I-pinx’ to allow users to create and distribute content such as photos, videos, and even sentences.

A few existing members include Hakuhodo, Asahi Shimbun and United. Hakuhodo is the number six advertising agency in the world, but it’s only a third of Dentsu’s size.

Asahi is one of Japan’s five national newspapers, launched in 1879. In 2019, Asahi conducted research into the 2018 CoinCheck case, a digital currency exchange that claimed it had around virtual currency worth around 58 billion yen stolen. 

Finally, United a digital transformation platform, investment, and advertising technology business. United’s vision is to ‘become Japan’s leading internet company.’ One of its platforms is  Kiramex, which aims to be Japan’s largest online school, specializing in programming.

Image Copyright: JBCI