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Ripple Guides Japan’s Venture Into Blockchain

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A Japanese bank and its subsidiary have formed a consortium to explore potential use cases of blockchain technology, and the group will reportedly focus on both domestic and cross-border finances.

Reports on Monday (Aug. 22) said SBI Holdings and its subsidiary, SBI Ripple Asia, formed the group to develop new payment and settlement tools using blockchain. The banks announced their plans last Friday.

Dubbed the “Consortium for Considering Using Blockchain Technology to Centrally Provide Domestic and Foreign Exchange Services,” the consortium already has two additional members, Bank of Yokohama and SBI Sumishin Net Bank, reports said.

“While the Bank of Yokohama and SBI Sumishin Net Bank have been implementing various FinTech initiatives at an accelerated pace, the consortium will begin to consider new types of payment and settlement services that utilize blockchain technology, starting Oct. 2016,” the statement said.

Together, the financial services firms will explore real-time and 24-hour settlement technology, small-value remittance, cross-border payments and other topics. SBI Ripple will develop a settlement platform to be used by the group, reports said. The platform is slated to be ready by March 2017.

Until then, the consortium is seeking additional members and expects its membership to reach about 30 by the time SBI Ripple’s platform is ready.

SBI Ripple Asia is part of a collaboration between SBI and blockchain technology firm Ripple announced earlier this year. The venture aims to promote Ripple’s services across Asia.

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