The bank’s pivot to digital assets comes alongside a global banking shift toward cryptocurrencies.
Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui Trust will form a new company to offer digital asset custody services to institutional investors, according to a report by Nikkei Asia.
- Named the Japan Digital Asset Trust, the company will target institutional investors perturbed by the risk of cryptocurrency theft.
- The decision to create the the unit comes after an announcement earlier this month from Japanese rival Nomura that it is launching a subsidiary that will give institutional clients access to cryptocurrencies. It also represents a global shift towards the asset class, including banks such as BNP Paribas beginning to use JP Morgan’s blockchain-based network Onyx for fixed income trading.
- The custody service will be a joint-venture between Bitbank, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in Japan, which will own 85%, and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust, which will own 15%.
- Japan Digital Asset Trust will have $2.3 million in initial capital with hopes to expand to $78 million through additional investment.