Banking News

SBI, SMBC, MUFG invest in digital currency firm DeCurret’s $62 million funding

digital yen currency

DeCurret, a Japanese digital currency firm, has raised 6.7 billion Yen ($62 million) in a funding round. The business will use the proceeds to develop a blockchain-based digital currency platform and strengthen working relationships with its partner companies.

Among the ten investors who contributed were Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, SBI Holdings and MUFG Bank, Japan’s biggest bank. The company’s largest shareholder is Internet Initiative Japan.

Initially formed as a cryptocurrency exchange, DeCurret has expanded focus to concentrate on the use of blockchain for business applications that leverage digital currencies. 

DeCurret acts as convener of the Digital Currency Forum to explore specific use cases for digital currencies that are based on the Japanese Yen. The Forum started as a study group but evolved as it grew. It now boasts more than 50 Japanese companies across several sectors, including shareholders power company KDDI, Mizuho Bank, Mitsubishi Corp and NTT Group. The Forum plans to implement proofs of concept (PoCs) for various use cases and create operational standards.

Since June 2020, DeCurret has been working specifically on this project, which includes a two-tiered digital currency platform for private digital currency issuance and smart contract programmability as well as a blockchain-based solution. The Forum is exploring various applications such as using digital currency in electric power, wallet security, retail solutions and regional digital currencies.

The latest fundraise for DeCurret follows a series of trials conducted in partnership with Japan-based global companies. Recently, Toyota Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Motors, rolled out a trial for automated welfare benefit payments to 2,500 staff. The payments were made using blockchain technology and a white-labeled digital currency solution from DeCurret. 

In the summer of 2020, insurance company Daido Life ran a proof of concept (PoC) for a branded digital currency with DeCurret. The trial involved 100 employees who held the money in a digital wallet and could use the coins to buy items and receive rewards.

Yesterday the firm also announced the appointment of senior adviser Mr. Toshihide Endo, formerly the Commissioner of the Financial Services Agency. In a sign that the company has not abandoned its roots, DeCurret also launched an affiliate program for Bitcoin mining machine sales.

The full list of investors is: KDDI CORPORATION, NTT Corporation, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Bank, Ltd., JAPAN POST BANK Co., Ltd., SOHGO SECURITY SERVICES CO.,LTD., Mitsubishi Corporation, SBI Holdings, Inc., and SECOM CO., LTD.


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