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Japanese Giant With Billions in Revenue Expresses Crypto Interest

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

The incoming president of Japanese business group Sumitomo Corporation has hinted the company may “actively invest” in cryptocurrencies.

Sumitomo Corporation at a glance. Source:
Masayuki Hyodo. Source: Sumitomo Corporation

Masayuki Hyodo, who will take charge of Sumitomo in June this year, spoke to reporters for the first time since his appointment was announced. Hyodo talked about investing in fourth-generation industries, mentioned electronic vehicles and artificial intelligence – but also expressed a deep interest in cryptocurrencies.

Per media outlet Sankei, Hyodo said he wanted to strike a balance between new and existing business, and said, “We will combine new, global innovative technologies into a group with new perspectives.”

Hyodo also mentioned his desire to create an investment network in Silicon Valley, London and Hong Kong.

Sumitomo is primarily known for its international trading operations, but it also owns a range of finance, electronics and energy companies.

One of the group’s banking subsidies, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, has been active in the field of blockchain technology application. The bank is part of a multi-company Japanese consortium attempting to pioneer ways to streamline and upgrade cross-border trading. The company also began offering cryptocurrency services in conjunction with BitFlyer, the country’s largest exchange platform, in February this year.

Another financial subsidy, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank has been working with IBM Japan on possible uses for blockchain technology in its finance, property and asset custody operations.

Revenues of the corporation for the nine-month period ended December 31, 2017, stood at JPY 3.479tn (USD 32.4bn), according to the financial report.