Blockchain for Banking News

MUFG invests in blockchain interoperability startup DataChain


Today blockchain interoperability startup DataChain said it has received funding from Japan’s biggest bank, MUFG. The two firms have been working together since last year on blockchain interoperability for MUFG’s Progmat Coin, a multi bank stablecoin issuance platform. Earlier this month the companies said they were targeting public blockchain stablecoins, with the timeline confirmed today as April 2024.

The amount of the investment was not disclosed but the Nikkei reported it was likely less than Yen 100 million ($700,000) representing just 1% of the company.

There are several aspects to the joint initiatives. On the one hand, there is the launch of a stablecoin solution on public blockchains. 

However, today’s announcement focused more on tokenized securities. Progmat’s platform has already been used to issue several digital securities, particularly for real estate. But worldwide there’s a trend for there to be multiple security token platforms, even if Progmat is the dominant one in Japan at the moment. MUFG wants to use Progmat Coins to settle securities transactions and to enable cross chain transactions involving multiple blockchain platforms. The other big one in Japan is Nomura’s BOOSTRY.

MUFG’s Progmat is in the process of incorporating, with outside investment from stock exchange operator JPX, Mizuho, SMBC, SBI, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust and NTT Data.

The big bank has previously made blockchain investments including committing $22.5 million to a Japanese joint venture with web3 gaming and metaverse startup Animoca Brands last summer.

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