On July 20, Digital Garage, Inc., a company listed in Japan, which is engaged in diversified online businesses, including venture investment, online advertising, and e-commerce payment services, and The Tokyo Tanshi Co., Ltd., which is a provider of brokerage services in the interbank market, announced a plan to establish Crypto Garage, a joint-venture for researching, developing, and commercializing blockchain financial services in the Fintech field.
Digital Garage is a company co-founded by Mr. Joi Ito, Director of MIT Media Lab. Along with Kakaku.com, Inc. and Credit Saison Co., Ltd., Digital Garage established DG Lab, an R&D organization focusing on blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), bio-health, and security. Kakaku.com is a company listed in Japan, which provides comparative information on various products and services, including computers, home electronics, insurance, and telecommunications. Credit Saison is a leading listed credit card company in Japan. Digital Garage is engaged in business development with investees and other companies through DG Lab.
Tokyo Tanshi is a financial institution with over 100 years of experience in intermediary and brokerage services in the interbank transaction and open markets, and is involved in a wide range of markets. Digital Garage and Tokyo Tanshi are said to have considered creating new Fintech businesses combining the cutting-edge blockchain technologies, that are the subjects of DG Lab’s R&D, and financial market expertise of Tokyo Tanshi through a partnership announced in November 2017.
With the establishment of the JV, the two companies will start offering full-scale financial services powered by blockchain technology. Digital Garage CEO Kaoru Hayashi commented: “I look forward to working together with Tokyo Tanshi to create new world-leading blockchain financial services from Japan.”
Digital Garage, in cooperation with Hidashin Association, has developed Sarubobo Coin—a regional cryptocurrency available in specific areas, including Takayama City—through a smartphone application. Sarubobo is a baby monkey doll that has been made in the Hida region for many years.
In a press release announcing the partnership in November 2017, Digital Garage stated: “This new venture will drive the market by allowing companies that issue and circulate points and cryptocurrencies to expand their operations throughout Japan by linking them to Tokyo Tanshi’s network of banks inside and outside of Japan.” Close attention will be paid to future developments.