Japan's Second Largest Bank To Launch Institutional Bitcoin, Crypto Custodial Services

Japan's Second Largest Bank To Launch Institutional Bitcoin, Crypto Custodial Services

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust will partner with Bitbank to form a company focused on institutional custodial services for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

  • Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui Trust is launching a new company for institutional clients looking for custodial services for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
  • The new company will be called Japan Digital Asset Trust and is a joint-venture with 85% ownership belonging to Bitbank, and 15% belonging to Mitsui Trust.
  • The venture reportedly has $2.3 million of committed capital for launch and expects to raise a total of $78 million.

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust, Japan’s second largest bank, is creating a new company called Japan Digital Asset Trust to offer custodial services for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for institutional clients, according to a report by Nikkei Asia.

The new company will hold assets like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for large investors and corporations because the company reportedly believes investors will feel more comfortable if the custody of those assets can be held by trusted financial institutions.

Japan Digital Asset Trust will be a joint-venture with a majority ownership belonging to Bitbank, a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange, who will control 85% of the venture. The remaining 15% ownership will be owned by Mitsui.

The new venture is reportedly expected to have $2.3 million in capital for launch and is expecting to raise enough capital from investors to reach a goal of $78 million.

This announcement follows the news that Japanese competitor bank Nomura Holdings Inc. also recently announced they would be creating a subsidiary to offer custodial services to institutional clients looking to acquire bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

When zoomed out to the global scale, the adoption of bitcoin as an institutional asset class is rising as Mitsui Trust joins other financial institutions such as BNY Mellon who just last year backed a cryptocurrency exchange. Similarly, Fidelity authored Bitcoin First, which was a resource to show institutional investors why they should invest in bitcoin before any other cryptocurrency, and has subsequently offered bitcoin-based products.

Global banking leader Morgan Stanley also released a report discussing bitcoin’s viability as a currency following the events of Jack Maller’s announcement at Bitcoin 2022 where he announced that Strike, his Bitcoin infrastructure company, had integrated with the largest point–of-sale provider in the world.

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