Ripple launches new fund to drive blockchain innovation in Japan and South Korea

Blockchain firm Ripple has launched a Japan and Korea fund to foster innovation on the XRP Ledger as it expands its presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

XRP, a cryptocurrency powered by the XRP Ledger, is an open-source, public blockchain designed for corporate use. Ripple leverages blockchain and XRP to enable real-time, cross-border payments.

The funds will support corporate partnerships, developer grants, startup investments, and community growth, Ripple stated on Tuesday. The XRPL Japan and Korea Fund is part of Ripple’s commitment of 1 billion XRP, announced in March 2022, to provide financial, technical, and business support for developers.

“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,” said Emi Yoshikawa, vice president of strategic initiatives at Ripple.

The expansion comes as the crypto industry in the U.S. faces a “hostile regulatory environment,” Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse told CNBC earlier this month.

Ripple noted last year that Asia-Pacific is “one of its fastest-growing regions” and will continue to “prioritize the region for adoption of its crypto payment services.”

In April, Ripple partnered with Tokyo-based HashKey DX to introduce XRPL-powered supply chain finance solutions to Japan. Additionally, it launched SBI Ripple Asia in 2016, a joint venture with Japanese financial services company SBI Holdings, to promote Ripple payment solutions in the region.

Ripple announced that the XRP Ledger will be used to issue official Expo NFTs for millions of attendees at the World Expo 2025 in Osaka, Japan. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique digital assets, such as artwork, audio, or videos, stored and verified on blockchain technology.

Ripple secured a full license to operate in Singapore in October, having established the city-state as its Asia-Pacific headquarters in 2017.

In April, Ripple revealed plans to launch a U.S. dollar stablecoin, which its president Monica Long indicated would “likely” happen this year.

In October, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dropped claims against Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen from its December 2020 lawsuit, which alleged that Ripple had violated laws by selling XRP without registering the token with the SEC.


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