Japan’s SBI Holdings Kicks off First Security Token Offering


Major Japanese financial services company SBI Holdings is set to launch its first security token offering (STO) by allocating shares of its esports games arm, SBI e-Sports Co., Ltd.

SBI Holdings will be the underwriter for the issuance of 1,000 shares of common stock in its subsidiary. The Japanese financial conglomerate is getting more serious about the security token offerings industry which it sees a ‘core fintech technology’. It plans to tokenize more assets in the future including real estate and intellectual property rights for games and movies.

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The STO will be conducted through an open source blockchain platform called Ibet, which was developed by the digital security offering platform Boostry. Japan-based Boostry is a joint venture between Nomura and tech provider Nomura Research Institute (NRI), while SBI Holdings owns a 10% stake.

The platform aims to use blockchain to streamline securities trading and exchanging other rights, particularly corporate bonds. The compliant offering is a clearing and settlement platform based on the blockchain that lets companies raise capital with security tokens. It also provides a secondary market ‎liquidity for tokens that are offered and sold as securities.

The initiative comes shortly after Japan updated and amended its ‘Financial Instruments and Exchange Act’ which now regulates security tokens as “interests in a collective investment scheme that are represented by tokens.”

Other subsidiaries at SBI groups are also active in other blockchain projects. Apart from BOOSTRY, for example, SBI additionally invested in San Francisco-based STO startup, Securitize, and enterprise blockchain firm R3. SBI also maintains investments in Ripple and the MoneyTap blockchain payments app.

Furthermore, SBI Securities has signed partnerships with a list of prominent players in the blockchain industry as it seeks to capture a portion of a huge market class that is waiting to be tokenized.

While the ICO has come and gone, security tokens have emerged to offer a compliant alternative of integrating the benefits of crypto-related technologies with mainstream finance world.

Blockchain for securities is seeing significant activity with many Japanese firms exploring the sector, which has seen consistent growth, with monthly secondary trading volume increasing on a monthly basis.

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