On Friday, Japan’s SBI Holdings announced an investment in Digital Asset and a plan to create an equally owned joint venture. The project will involve programmable money, including a “smart yen” and aims to target Japan and East Asia.
Digital Asset’s Daml is a smart contract language that can work with multiple blockchains or centralized databases and enables interoperability.
For the joint venture, Daml will integrate with existing payment infrastructures as an additional layer, enabling a flexible rewards system optimized for each customer.
SBI President Yoshitaka Kitao said the system would enable “fully automating the process of providing loyalty through smart contracts. We expect to further accelerate the SBI Group’s digital transformation by actively introducing Digital Asset’s technology, including the stablecoin ‘Smart Yen’ concept.” In the Japanese version of the announcement, he mentioned using daml in SBI Group’s digital asset-related business.
Digital Asset raised a $120 million Series D last year and is involved in multiple stock exchange projects, including the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), Deutsche Börse, HKEX and SGX. More recently, it’s moved into digital currency and is participating in a central bank digital currency (CBDC) challenge in Brazil.
Meanwhile, SBI has numerous blockchain and digital assets activities, including other joint ventures with blockchain technology firms Ripple and R3. The group’s activities range from cryptocurrency to security tokens and supply chain traceability.
It’s been involved in several security token initiatives and is developing the Osaka Digital Exchange, a secondary market for security tokens and digital assets. That’s an area where Digital Asset would be a natural partner, although nothing specific was mentioned.
Regarding cryptocurrency, SBI operates a significant Bitcoin mining pool SBICrypto, the cryptocurrency exchange SBI VC Trade and it acquired B2C2, the major crypto liquidity provider.