Blockstream, Digital Garage expand partnership to Accelerate Blockchain in Japan

Blockstream, the leader in blockchain technologies and financial cryptography, and Digital Garage, Inc., the Japanese company that provides "new contexts" through the Internet by implementing three core technologies: IT (Information Technology), MT (Marketing Technology), and FT (Financial Technology), have entered into an expanded, multi-year strategic technology partnership to further accelerate blockchain initiatives and establish Japan as a leading market for blockchains. In addition to this partnership agreement, the DG Lab Fund I that has been in operation since July 2016 by DG Daiwa Ventures, Inc., a joint venture between Digital Garage, Inc. and Daiwa Securities Group, Inc., has invested in Blockstream, thereby raising the company's total funding to date to more than $80 million (USD).

"This expanded partnership is coming at a time in the Japanese market where we're seeing incredible interest in Bitcoin and blockchain technologies," said Kaoru Hayashi, Representative Director, President Executive Officer and Group CEO of Digital Garage. "Japan is on the forefront of financial innovation and is a leader in digital assets. In this future-looking market, it was imperative that we have a solid technology foundation on which to build industry-leading, blockchain-based financial applications for our customers. Blockstream's Elements Blockchain Platform gives us the solid foundation we need – it's highly secure, thoroughly tested, and backed by the blockchain experts at Blockstream."

"We are excited to expand our partnership with DG Lab and to be at the forefront of blockchain technology in Japan," said Dr. Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream. "The Japanese market is ready for new business models that blockchain technologies can enable. DG Lab is a clear leader in blockchain services in Japan and has strong technical experience working with the applied cryptography and technologies within the Elements Blockchain Platform. Collaborating with DG Lab presents an incredible opportunity to accelerate the deployment of blockchain-based solutions in the market."

The most recent investment by Digital Garage in Blockstream and expanded partnership with DG Lab are a testament to the fast pace of adoption of blockchain technologies across Asia, and beyond. DG Lab is an open innovation research and development organization established with Digital Garage, Kakaku.com, Inc., and Credit Saison Co., Ltd. As part of today's announcement, DG Lab is announcing that The Tokyo Tanshi, one of the largest Japanese IDBs (Inter-Dealer Brokers), is joining the effort and will be working with DG Lab and Blockstream on a number of innovative blockchain projects. To begin, DG and Tokyo Tanshi will work with Blockstream to issue and circulate local currencies using blockchain technology and to enter the cryptocurrency OTC market.

"We have spent significant time over the past two years researching and experimenting with various cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies," said Yuichiro Yanagida, President of The Tokyo Tanshi. "While there are many interesting initiatives underway, we have been the most impressed with the maturity and potential of the Elements Blockchain Platform. We believe working with DG Lab and Blockstream presents many exciting new capabilities for the next 100 years of our company." 

The announcement of the expanded partnership builds on a successful collaboration that has been in place since early 2017. Recent joint activities have included the Blockchain Core Camp (BC2) event in Tokyo where more than 100 engineers from leading companies and the government sector gathered to learn how to use and deploy blockchain technologies available now and in the future, as well as the loyalty point demonstration released by DG Lab earlier this year that shows the transfer of assets on the Elements Blockchain Platform using its Confidential Transactions and Confidential Assets capabilities.

The Elements Blockchain Platform is an open source initiative sponsored by Blockstream that builds on the Bitcoin blockchain codebase with advanced features for enterprise use. Elements powers a number of blockchain-based solutions, including Blockstream's Liquid blockchain offering, which is currently being integrated by a number of Bitcoin exchanges in Japan and around the world.