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Crypto Exchanges bitFlyer, GMO Coin Branch Out into Property, Sport

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges are looking to expand the scope of their activities – venturing out into the world of sport and real estate.

GMO Coin has teamed up with professional football club FC Ryukyu. Source: FC Ryukyu

Cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer’s bitFlyer Blockchain subsidiary has teamed up with Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corporation to create a platform that will allow tenants and landowners to make property payments, as well as drafting and signing rental contracts using a mobile app.

Per CNET Japan, the companies are planning a solution that lets tenants and landowners pay for a range of expenses, browse for properties, issue contract renewals and mark tenancy agreements as completed.

They claim the new app will help reduce costs and boost efficiency – reducing the amount of time and effort that goes into leasing a property.

This is one of the first major moves bitFlyer Blockchain has made since it was launched earlier this year, and marks a step in a new business direction for the crypto exchange.

Last month, bitFlyer’s CEO spoke of enabling tenants and house owners to complete rental deals in full, using no more than an app on their smartphones.

bitFlyer and the bank say they hope to commercialize the new platform sometime next year.

Meanwhile, bitFlyer rival GMO Coin has teamed up with professional football club FC Ryukyu. The club, which currently plays in the J2 league, is based in Okinawa Prefecture, and won promotion to the league from the J3 league last year, finishing as champions of the division.

GMO Coin and the football club will develop an FC Ryukyu Coin, per a report from media outlet Gekisaka. The parties hope to release the new cryptocurrency before the end of FY2019.

The club has been experiencing financial difficulties of late, but hopes that the introduction of the new cryptocurrency will be a “trump card” for FC Ryukyu’s economic future, allowing supporters to make investments in the club through token purchases.

The new coin, say operators, will allow the club to offer “premium services for fans.” GMO says that it also “aims to operate [cryptocurrency-related] services throughout Okinawa in the future.”

The move sees GMO intensify its football-related operations. Last year, the company launched a high-profile advertising campaign featuring Shinji Kagawa, a 97-times capped Japanese international who currently plays for Real Zaragoza in Spain.