In mid-August Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, the holding company of SMBC, completed the deal to acquire a 14% stake in blockchain firm SBI R3 Japan. SBI Holdings still has a 51% stake (previously 60%) and R3 has 35% (formerly 40%). SBI claims to be the largest outside shareholder in R3.
The joint venture plans to develop enterprise blockchain solutions based on R3’s Corda in Japan. SMBC is already a member of two trade finance projects powered by R3’s Corda, namely Marco Polo and Contour. Additionally, the bank is a participant in the commodities trade finance platform komgo, which uses the Quorum flavor of Ethereum.
At the start of August, SBI R3 Japan joined the ST Research Consortium for security tokens founded by MUFG. SBI Securities is already a member of another group, the self regulatory body, Japan Security Token Offering Association, alongside Daiwa Securities, Nomura Securities, Rakuten Securities and others.
In other news, in July SBI Holdings started a proof of concept with startup CTIA for a shipping traceability solution for agricultural products. The PoC will focus on rice with Japanese rice exporter Hyakushoichiba.