Today the Nikkei reported that Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings plans to create a trust company, “Japan Digital Asset Trust” (JADAT), for managing digital assets. It will partner with local cryptocurrency exchange Bitbank, which will control 85% of the joint venture and will launch by the end of the year.
One of the first applications will be cryptocurrency custody, combining the crypto experience of Bitbank with the know-how of Sumitomo Mitsui. The company will also consider issuing a stablecoin in the future.
A year ago, Sumitomo Mitsui was involved in issuing a blockchain security token using the Securitize platform.
The news follows the confirmation last week that Nomura plans to launch a digital assets subsidiary. It has already been in the crypto custody business for some time as a joint venture participant in Komainu, which was formed in 2018. Last year Nomura invested in Crypto Garage with a plan to roll out the Komainu custody solution in Japan.
Other Japanese financial firms increasing their digital asset exposure include SBI Group and MUFG. SBI is the most established with a cryptocurrency exchange SBI VC Trade, a Bitcoin miner SBICrypto.com and the ownership of wholesale crypto liquidity platform B2C2. It also operates the SBI NFT marketplace. Plus, it has major activities in the security token sector with plans to launch the Osaka Digital Exchange.
MUFG has its Progmat security token platform. That was recently extended to support utility tokens and provides a framework for multiple banks to issue stablecoins. For non-fungible tokens (NFTs), The Japanese bank recently partnered with Animoca Brands, the web3 gaming and metaverse leader.