Blockchain for Banking Capital markets News

Japan’s SBI invests in securities tokenization firm Securitize


Yesterday, blockchain firm Securitize announced an investment from SBI Investment, a unit of Japan’s SBI Holdings. The US-based securities tokenization startup did not disclose the funding amount.

Blockchain for securities is seeing significant activity with many Japanese firms exploring the sector. Securitize provides a compliance platform for tokenized securities. It’s blockchain solution, DS Protocol, manages the secondary trading of tokenized securities as well as corporate actions such as dividends.

The firm has received a lot of interest from Japanese institutions. Before the SBI investment, Securitize raised $14 million from Santander InnoVentures, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) Innovation Partners, and Nomura Holdings. Previously, it also raised $12.75 million from Ripple, Blockchain Capital and Coinbase.

Meanwhile, Nomura Holdings and Nomura Research Institute (NRI) have established the joint venture BOOSTRY to build a blockchain platform for the exchange of securities, with an initial focus on bonds.

Both Nomura Securities and SBI Securities helped found a Japan Security Token Offering (STO) Association, along with Daiwa Securities, Rakuten Securities and others. It aims to develop self-regulation around security token offerings.

“Japan’s economic strength, digital society, and advanced regulatory environment make it an attractive market for tokenization – and SBI is playing a leading role in this movement as a founding member of the Japan Security Token Offering Association (JSTOA),” said Carlos Domingo, Co-Founder and CEO of Securitize.

Securitize is part of a separate consortium led by MUFG, the Security Token Research Consortium, which is exploring the use of blockchain and security tokens for automatic securities settlement.

SBI’s blockchain activities

To date, SBI’s most significant blockchain investments have focused on Ripple and R3. It’s an investor in Ripple and has a joint venture, SBI Ripple Asia.

The latter initiated MoneyTap, which is now an independent venture with at least 13 other banks as shareholders. MoneyTap targets domestic Japanese and cross-border payments.

Additionally, it invested in R3 as well as an R3 Corda-based business, B3i, the blockchain insurance initiative owned by numerous global insurers. SBI also claimed to have played a role in the settlement of litigation between R3 and Ripple.

But SBI’s initiatives are not all enterprise-focused. A year ago, it explored a consumer currency, S-Coin.

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