by Diana Ngo
FISCO Ltd., a leading financial analyst services provider in Japan, has announced the establishment of FISCO COIN Ltd., a new company that will be operating an exchange platform for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The company’s establishment comes shortly after Japan’s financial regulators proposed handling virtual currencies such as bitcoin as methods of payment equivalent to conventional currencies.
Under Japan’s Financial Services Agency’s proposed definition and legislative revisions, exchanges and other institutions dealing with digital currencies would have to register with the FSA, subjecting them to tighter oversight. This would create a legal framework that would allow cryptocurrencies to spread more safely and potentially help prevent another MtGox disaster.
According to FISCO, the fact that Japan’s regulators are considering recognizing digital currencies as legal tender is a bullish news for the industry. FISCO believes that the legislation of cryptocurrencies will further improve and will help the industry grow.
FISCO COIN will first be a cryptocurrency exchange operator but the group plans to start selling its trading system to other market players as well. FISCO also wants to develop and manage financial derivative instruments and offer B2B services such as bond issue and B2C services such as crowdfunding, all of which will be utilizing cryptocurrencies, the group said in a release.
FISCO said it intends to position itself as a hub for cryptocurrencies by providing one-stop service. The firm will be supported by its parent company SJI, which will provide FISCO COIN with technological support.
Earlier this year, FISCO revealed a partnership with Tech Bureau, a Japanese blockchain technology developer and provider, to conduct delivery testing of bitcoin market information.
Japan’s financial institutions and banks are giving a second wind to the domestic cryptocurrency industry which has been struggling to take off following MtGox’s collapse in early 2014.
In February, Japan bourse operator Japan Exchange Group Inc. (JPX) said it had partnered with IBM to start testing blockchain technology for financial transactions. JPX said it would conduct a proof-of-concept test in cooperation with IBM Japan to evaluate the limits and possibilities of blockchain technology in markets that have low transaction data volume using the framework provided by the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s blockchain developer Dragonfly Fintech is working with Nomura Research Institute (NRI) and Japanese SBI Sumishin Net Bank, to conduct a proof-of-concept test of the application of its technology to the core architecture of SBI Sumishin in hopes of finding a way to streamline the bank’s processes.
Mizuho Financial Group (MFG), one of Japan’s largest financial holding companies, is involved in several blockchain projects. One of these projects is in a partnership with technology solutions firm Cognizant Technology Solutions to develop a record-keeping system for documents.
Earlier this month, the group announced it has concluded the three-month trial of a blockchain-based system aimed at speeding up international securities transactions.