When was the last time you heard of an all-Japanese NFT project? How many Japanese NFT artists can you name that are making big waves in the space?
Of course, there’s the 9-year-old Zombie Zookeeper. However, NFTs have not really met with much enthusiasm in Japan. And honestly, this is pretty surprising.
For starters, there is an upcoming NFT collection based on Hello Kitty franchise, and a number of prominent Japanese game developers have already jumped into the space. Case in point, Square Enix is launching an NFT for the universally beloved diesel punk classic Final Fantasy VII. However, the reception that even these big names received was rather lukewarm.
Except popularity of Axie Infinity domestically, there was not much enthusiasm for NFT projects in Japan. But that could soon change — at least in the financial sector.
Japanese banking institution Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) just announced to work on providing a range of NFT and cryptocurrency related services to its millions of customers in Japan. His first steps? Promoting Web3 itself.
Help with SMBC’s first steps in Web3 is Hashport. On the company’s website, Hashport describes itself as a “public utility that facilitates the movement of digital assets between networks in a fast, secure and cost-effective manner.” Included in Hashport’s suite of services are various tokenization solutions and listing services, which will be fully utilized by SMBC and Hashport’s upcoming token business lab.
Ultimately, through this lab, SMBC hopes to engage its vast customer base in surveys, conduct research, and function as an advocate for cryptocurrencies and NFTs in Japan. In particular, SMBC hopes that the research and data collected by its Business Token Lab, as well as its efforts to promote decentralized finance at the local level, will enable it to establish its own token business in the near future.
SMBC has also indicated that it has an interest in providing Web3 consulting services to its clients. The company also notes that it plans to eventually issue NFTs to its customers. However, what exactly these NFTs are, remains to be seen.
With Japan’s dominance in the arts, entertainment and video game industries, wider adoption and acceptance of Web3 among Japanese consumers and companies can benefit the world as a whole.