Japanese Tech Conglomerate GMO Launches a New Internet Blockchain Banking Business

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Japanese tech conglomerate GMO announced the launch of a new Internet banking business that would utilise blockchain technology to allow users to make fast and cheap payments.

The new GMO Aozora Net Bank project is realized in partnership with Aozora Bank Group. The official notice of the launch indicated that this is a joint-initiative that has been in preparation since July 2016 and that will leverage the use of blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) to provide new financial services through financial technologies.

There is an increasing expectation that the application of the blockchain technology will allow for breakthroughs in the banking industry and for safer and cheaper payments and financial services.

According to the official announcement, the new internet bank will see a majority ownership by Aozora Bank at 85.1% with the remaining stake split equally GMO Internet and GMO Financial Holdings.

The internet bank will be rooted with five specific pillars, namely “security, “speed”, “cheapness”, “convenience” and “new [user] experience”, the document added, further stating it eventually intends to become a “platform bank” that licenses its payments technology to companies across multiple industries.

GMO Internet’s latest financial foray with its new internet bank follows the launch of its cryptocurrency exchange, first announced in May 2017. Since then, GMO has also invested in its own bitcoin mining operation in Europe, paid employees in bitcoin and recently announced its cloud mining service for bitcoin and bitcoin cash, to be launched in August this year.