Tokyo-based bitFlyer Inc., Japan’s largest bitcoin exchange and blockchain financial technology company, today announced that three Japanese banking giants have joined in raising funds for the company.
According to the press release, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. Venture Capital, Mizuho Capital Company—investment arms of Japanese “mega-banks” Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc., respectively—and Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. Ltd. have joined to raise funds.
Japanese news source Nikkei reported that the blockchain company secured approximately 200 million yen ($1.75 million) in the deal. This follows up a funding round joined by major Japanese bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. in August 2015, which brought in 510 million yen ($4.5 million).
BitFlyer boasts being the largest virtual currency exchange in Japan. The company exceeded 320 billion yen ($2.8 billion) in trades during January 2017 with more than 400,000 users.
The Tokyo-based company’s work in the distributed ledger, or blockchain, financial technology industry has led it to create its own high-performance blockchain called “miyabi.” The company created this private blockchain based on viability tests with three major Japanese banks including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. and Mizuho Financial Group.
The company intends to use the new funding not only to expand its interests in financial technology, but also “to design core systems that utilize blockchain technology for more industries in the future in order to realize their management philosophy of making the world simpler through blockchain technology.”
Japan is also set to bring into effect the “Revised Payment Directive” by June of this year. It is industry regulatory legislation that includes provisions to encourage the use of digital currencies domestically.
To prepare for the upcoming changes to Japan’s virtual currency and blockchain industry, bitFlyer has focused on stability and security, which the company believes are “the utmost important issues affecting the virtual currency market in Japan.”
BitFlyer also considers 2017 to be “the first year for virtual currency” in Japan.
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