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Japan’s largest mobile phone firm NTT Docomo launches web3 wallet

NTT scramberry wallet

This week, NTT Digital, a subsidiary of telecoms firm NTT Docomo, unveiled a consumer-facing Web3 wallet. While it launched in Japan, the Scramberry  branding and the images are in English, which may indicate its global ambitions. As far as we’re aware, this is the first major telecoms firm to launch a consumer-targeted Web3 wallet. NTT Docomo has a mobile subscription market share of more than 40% and is the largest provider in Japan.

The company says it wants to target all cryptocurrency users, particularly first time users of non fungible tokens (NFTs). Hence, initial registration only requires a phone number, which makes sense given most of its users will already be subscribers. The wallet includes functionality such as enabling backups of private keys and using biometric authentication.

At launch it supports four blockchains: Ethereum, Avalanche, Polygon and Astar Network. Astar is a Japanese founded blockchain that also has relationships with Sony and Toyota, amongst others.

NTT Digital also plans to develop an API this year for corporate customers who want to include the functionality in their own applications.

The Web3 subsidiary was launched mid-last year, and has relationships with 13 firms. Most are in the Web3 world, such as Startale Labs, the founder of the Astar Network. However, Hitachi and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank were among the group.

At the time of the FTX collapse in 2022, NTT Docomo committed to investing 500 to 600 billion Yen ($3.4 bn to $4.1bn at the time) in web3. 

Last year it created a joint venture with Monex, the owner of Japan’s largest crypto exchange Coincheck. However, the Docomo – Monex collaboration is on the securities brokerage side and explicitly includes security tokens.

Image Copyright: NTT Digital