A Japanese bank consortium gearing up to create a new real-time payments platform using blockchain technology from SBI Ripple Asia has expanded to 42 members.
According to a report, the group launched in August with 15 members, and SBI Ripple Asia had expected to increase the size to 30 banks. “Because of active responses from many financial institutions, the consortium was finally launched with 42 member banks,” said SBI in a statement, according to the report. “Member financial institutions are expected to increase further after the launch, as applications for participation will be accepted continuously.”
SBI Ripple Asia said in the report the banking consortium will look at both technical and operational activities required in domestic and foreign exchange services “to utilize blockchain and other new technologies, consolidate domestic and foreign exchange services and build 24-hour and real-time remittance infrastructure.” The report noted the group set a March 2017 deadline for a proof-of-concept product ahead of a full commercial build.
According to the report, the expanding consortium comes as SBI Holdings is moving ahead with plans to launch a digital currency exchange. The company set up a new unit, SBI Virtual Currencies, with which it aims to capture a “new value asset management opportunity.” SBI didn’t disclose details of the currencies that will be available on the platform.