Japan’s Global Brain Corporation has announced the setting up of a new subsidiary, GB Blockchain Labs Corporation (GBBL), to extend its contribution to the blockchain ecosystem as well as foster utilisation of the technology across industries and countries.
Founded in 1998, Global Brain is one of the largest independent venture capital firms from Japan, with $500 million in assets under management (AUM) and investments across Asia Pacific, the United States, Europe and Israel.
Given its deep roots in venture capital, GBBL works to add value to the community and ecosystem through its existing network and knowledge. Its key focus areas include building a community-driven blockchain ecosystem, connecting projects with the relevant human capital and contributing to the community’s growth through research and knowledge sharing.
The blockchain is an innovative technology that is likely to lead to refinement of industry standards but the general lack of knowledge, talent and experiences have hampered its utilisation. GBBL aims to create real-world use cases and support new businesses built on the blockchain.
Recent investments into blockchain startups by Global Brain include Coins.ph and Bluzelle.
As a VC player, GBBL will continue to back blockchain startups through financing. With the recent movement of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), the company looks to support blockchain startups from equity finance to ICO in order to pursue and create a hybrid financing structure for the startup’s growth.
Within those movements, the company will also further its research and share its knowledge base for blockchain, token economy and ICOs. Since blockchain and its related fields is relatively new to the market, GBBL plans to work closely with related parties to build and share its knowledge base to enhance accessibility to the blockchain.
Given its community roots, as it matures, GBBL expects to be more actively involved with the blockchain community, enterprises and government agencies.
Jun Hasegawa, CEO & Founder of Omise and OmiseGO, along with other notable advisors from the blockchain foundation will be joining the advisory board of GBBL.
Hasegawa currently serves as CEO at Omise, a multinational payments company currently present across Southeast Asia.
Due to a strong belief in blockchain technology, he established OmiseGO, a crowd-funded blockchain division of Omise which is tasked with creating the OmiseGO network, an Ethereum-based public blockchain to enable financial service equity by decentralizing value transfer and exchange.
Other members of the advisory board are Thomas Greco, ex-BoD advisory of Ethereum Foundation and Special advisor of OmiseGO; Kai Cheng Chng, CEO & Founder of Digix; and Ron Hose, CEO & Founder of Coins.ph.
Digix is developing a chain of custody protocol, called ‘Proof of Asset’, to transparently track, audit and verify asset tokens on the blockchain. And, Coins.ph is a mobile blockchain-enabled platform that enables individuals to easily access financial service via a mobile wallet.