Equities

Ripple's New Fund Targets Blockchain Growth in Japan, Korea

Ripple launches Japan and Korea fund to drive blockchain innovation with 1 billion XRP commitment.

By Athena Xu

6/11, 00:09 EDT
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Key Takeaway

  • Ripple launches a Japan and Korea fund to drive blockchain innovation, supporting corporate partnerships, developer grants, and startup investments.
  • The initiative is part of Ripple's broader strategy to expand in the Asia-Pacific region amid regulatory challenges in the U.S.
  • Ripple's strategic moves include a full license in Singapore and plans for a U.S. dollar stablecoin launch this year.

Ripple Launches Japan and Korea Fund

Blockchain firm Ripple has announced the launch of a Japan and Korea fund aimed at driving innovation on the XRP Ledger. The fund is part of Ripple's broader strategy to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific region. XRP, Ripple’s native cryptocurrency, is powered by the XRP Ledger, an open-source, public blockchain designed for corporate use. Ripple leverages blockchain and cryptocurrency to facilitate real-time, cross-border payments.

The newly launched fund will support corporate partnerships, developer grants, startup investments, and community growth. This initiative is part of Ripple's commitment to allocate 1 billion XRP for providing financial, technical, and business support to developers, a commitment that was first announced in March 2022. Emi Yoshikawa, Ripple's vice president of strategic initiatives, stated, "The launch of this fund is a testament to Ripple’s strong belief in the potential of Japan and Korea as pivotal regional hubs for blockchain innovation."

Expansion Amid Regulatory Challenges

The expansion into Japan and Korea comes at a time when the crypto industry is facing a "hostile regulatory environment" in the U.S., according to Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse. Ripple has identified the Asia-Pacific region as one of its fastest-growing markets and plans to continue prioritizing the region for the adoption of its crypto payment services.

In April, Ripple partnered with Tokyo-based HashKey DX to introduce XRPL-powered supply chain finance solutions to the Japanese market. Additionally, Ripple launched SBI Ripple Asia in 2016, a joint venture with Japanese financial services company SBI Holdings, to drive the adoption of Ripple payment solutions in the region. Ripple also announced that the XRP Ledger would be used to issue official Expo NFTs for millions of attendees at the World Expo 2025 in Osaka, Japan.

Strategic Moves and Partnerships

Ripple has been making strategic moves to strengthen its foothold in the Asia-Pacific region. In October, Ripple obtained a full license to operate in Singapore, where it established its Asia-Pacific headquarters in 2017. The company has also announced plans to launch a U.S. dollar stablecoin, which Ripple President Monica Long said would "likely" happen this year.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently dropped claims against Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen in a lawsuit filed in December 2020. The lawsuit had alleged that Ripple violated laws by selling XRP without first registering the token with the SEC.

Street Views

  • Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple (Bearish on U.S. regulatory environment):

    "The expansion comes as the crypto industry faces a 'hostile regulatory environment' in the U.S."

Management Quotes

  • Emi Yoshikawa, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Ripple:

    "The launch of this fund is a testament to Ripple’s strong belief in the potential of Japan and Korea as pivotal regional hubs for blockchain innovation."