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J-pop to Go Crypto with IEO-funded Idol Group to Debut in 2023

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
The Japanese idol group AKB48. Source: Dennis Amith (kndynt2099)/(CC 2.0)

J-pop is ready to take the crypto plunge, with Japan’s biggest pop producer set to debut a new “idol group” (a boy band or girlgroup) in the metaverse – a project that will be funded through an initial exchange offering (IEO).

In a press release, a Japanese crypto-pop crossover project named Overse announced that it would be working with Yasushi Akimoto, the nation’s top pop record producer and lyricist, on a project that is scheduled to launch next year.

Akimoto is the mastermind behind some of the biggest names in J-pop, such as Onyanko Club, Nogizaka46, and the AKB48 franchise.

Akimoto has sold well over 100 million singles, and is the best-selling lyricist in Japan. His success in creating all-female, chart-topping pop acts has been unparalleled in his native country – and has even seen him contribute to the formation of South Korean girl group such as Iz*One.

J-pop/crypto crossovers have been on the rise in recent years, and Overse will hope that Akimoto’s Midas touch will not fail him when the group debuts next year.

Overse wrote that Akimoto would serve as the as-yet-unnamed group’s “general producer.”

It also wrote that the project would be funded through an IEO, and that the group would be active in “blockchain technology” and “the metaverse.”

The firm says that it hopes to go ahead with its IEO in “early 2023” – and will begin selecting members of group in Spring next year. It hopes to finalize the group’s membership by Summer – with a debut to follow in Fall.

In a previous press release, the same firm stated that it had sealed an agreement with the domestic crypto exchange DMM Bitcoin and the crypto startup Coinbook. These two firms will carry out the IEO, with the sale likely to take place on DMM’s platform.

IEOs are still largely uncharted territory for Japanese exchanges, but multiple companies are hoping to move into the space in the next few months – following regulators’ moves last year to formulate guidelines for the sector.

In Japan, “idol” groups refer to boy bands and girlgroups that are recruited and managed by powerful domestic talent agencies. “Idol”-style pop groups have gone on to dominate the music scene in much of East Asia – culminating in international chart success for the likes of South Korea’s BTS.