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Mitsui Digital Assets partners Sony Bank for digital securities

mitsui digital assets sony bank

Today Mitsui & Co Digital Asset Management (Mitsui) announced an alliance with Sony Bank to introduce Japanese clients to its retail-focused digital security offering. Last month Mitsui went live with its Alterna offering, which enables individuals to invest directly in blockchain-based securities backed by real estate.

Sony Bank is part of the Sony group and is one of Japan’s largest online only banks targeting consumers. It provides banking and investment services and is primarily acting as an introducer for Alterna. 

The digital securities offering is novel in that it removes intermediaries as a direct offering from the asset manager Mitsui. Users engage via a mobile phone, and the minimum investment amount is pretty small at Y100,000 ($716).

Additionally, Sony Bank is providing a “Quick Deposit” service supporting payments for Alterna investments around the clock. One surprise is that Alterna does not yet support credit card payments.

Before launching its direct-to-consumer service, Mitsui initially issued multiple digital securities, but the distribution was more conventional via Japanese securities firms such as SBI Securities. 

Like many other Japanese digital securities issuances, the latest Alterna offering uses MUFG’s Progmat blockchain platform based on R3’s enterprise blockchain Corda.

Mitsui & Co Digital Asset Management is majority owned by Mitsui & Co, but blockchain startup LayerX has a 36% stake. SMBC Nikko Securities, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank and JA Mitsui Leasing hold 11% between them.

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