Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Bank and Ginco Collaborate to Offer Japan’s First Crypto Asset Trust Services

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Bank and Ginco announced on August 31 that they have initiated a partnership to offer Japan’s first-ever trust services for crypto assets. This move comes as institutional investors globally are increasingly seeking custody services for digital assets.

Regulatory Landscape

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Bank had previously secured two patents related to trust services for crypto assets, aligning with the enforcement of Japan’s Payment Services Act in April 2017. The bank has been a pioneer in the digital asset space, launching its digital asset issuance and management platform, “Progmat,” in March 2021.

The Progmat Platform

Progmat serves as an efficient and secure platform for issuing and managing digital securities. It digitizes various forms of ownership rights, including real estate, movable assets like cash and goods, intellectual property rights, and dividends.

Legal Amendments and Tax Reforms

Recent legal amendments in October 2022 have made it possible for trust banks in Japan to offer custody services for crypto assets. Additionally, tax reforms approved in December 2022 have confirmed that crypto assets meeting certain criteria will be exempt from end-of-term market valuation, potentially increasing the demand for crypto asset trust services.

Ginco’s Role

Ginco, a company providing infrastructure for the safe and secure use of digital assets, will contribute technical expertise required for token management on public blockchains. The company is known for its “Ginco Enterprise Wallet,” which boasts the highest adoption rate among business-use crypto wallets in Japan.

Implications for the Market

The collaboration between Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Bank and Ginco is expected to fill a significant gap in the Japanese market, where institutional investors have been keen on diversifying their portfolios with crypto assets but lacked a regulated framework for doing so.

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IBM Partners Mitsubishi for Blockchain-Based Carbon Tracking Project

IBM Japan is collaborating with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to launch a blockchain-based solution for the tracking, capture, and re-usage of CO2. Dubbed CO2NNEX, the CO2 tracking platform will be powered by IBM’s blockchain technology while Mitsubishi will be responsible for managing the physical infrastructure that captures the gas, according to reports on August 17, 2021.

Towards a Carbon Neutral World

While carbon dioxide (CO2), an acidic colorless gas 53 percent denser than dry air, is useful in the manufacturing sector for the making of several products including fire extinguishers, carbonated drinks, and more, experts have warned that excess CO2 in the atmosphere may pose huge threats to mankind, including climate change and serious health challenges.

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), climate change is the biggest challenge we humans face in the 21st century, and the organization, in collaboration with its partners, is championing the cause towards a net-zero world by 2050.

Now, IBM and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), a Japanese multinational engineering, electrical equipment, and electronics corporation, are now aiming to contribute their bit to global CO2 reduction in the manufacturing sector via the CO2NNEX project.

IBM Making CO2 Useful with Blockchain

Per sources close to the matter, CO2NNEX will leverage distributed ledger technology (DLT) to track the capture and re-usage of CO2. The team says the CO2NNEX system is designed to accurately trace the collection and distribution of CO2 in a transparent manner, thereby making it easier for businesses to achieve carbon neutrality.

The team also plans to create a carbon marketplace where buyers and sellers of the gas can transact before the end of 2022. IBM will be in charge of the blockchain aspect of the project while Mitsubishi will create the physical infrastructure that will be used by manufacturers to capture their CO2 emissions during their manufacturing operations.

IBM successfully conducted a proof-of-concept for its blockchain-based CO2 tracking solution earlier in May 2021 and both teams are now working round the clock to roll out the complete solution by 2022.

Blockchain technology, the bedrock of bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies, is increasingly being adopted by firms for CO2 traceability.

As reported by BTCManager last January, Mercedes Benz’s Daimler AG conducted a blockchain pilot for CO2 emissions tracking across its cobalt supply chain.

More recently, in July 2021, the National Australian Bank joined forces with other multinational firms to launch a carbon offset marketplace powered by the Ethereum blockchain.

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Mitsubishi and Tokyo Tech Tap Blockchain for P2P Energy Trading Network

Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi Electric is teaming up with Tokyo Tech to develop a blockchain-based peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading system. From energy neighborhood concepts to rural electrification projects, blockchain technology continues to find significant adoption in efforts geared towards improving access to electricity across the world.

Blockchain-based Digital Energy Platform

Both organizations announced the news via a joint press statement issued on Sunday (Jan. 17, 2021). According to the press release, the two establishments will collaborate on a pioneer blockchain P2P energy trading system to facilitate the efficient utilization of surplus electricity supply from renewable energy sources.

Detailing their respective roles and responsibilities in the joint enterprise, Mitsubishi will be in charge of designing the P2P energy trading infrastructure while Tokyo Tech will spearhead the blockchain research and development work functions as well as the development of a robust clearing algorithm.

According to the joint press release, Mitsubishi and Tokyo Tech’s network will differ from the usual blockchain-based energy trading systems. Part of this uniqueness lies in the decision to create a platform that does not require high-volume computations and is not hardware-intensive.

With micro-computing servers and robust order matching with minimal computation requirements, the new method will utilize a four-step process to achieve its aims. An excerpt from the announcement detailing the process reads:

“In the first step, information on buy and sell orders with a common trading goal (market surplus, profit, etc.) are shared by computing servers during a predetermined timeframe. Second, each server searches for buy and sell orders matched to the common goal in the first step. Third, each server shares its search results. In the fourth and final step, each server receives the search results and generates a new block by selecting trades that best meet the shared goal, which it adds to each blockchain.”

According to the press statement, the project will commence in April with plans for the early commercialization of the system.

Mitsubishi and Tokyo Tech’s project joins the rapidly expanding cast of P2P energy trading networks is what is proving to be a popular blockchain technology adoption niche. Back in Sept. 2020, the IOTA Foundation and CityxChange cost-efficient energy trading platform was announced as being business-ready.

As previously reported by BTCManager, a 2020 research study showed that Power Ledger’s P2P energy trading solution constituted a real use case for blockchain technology.

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