Japan’s inaugural digital securities trading platform, Start, is set to revolutionize the country’s financial landscape. Founded in 2021, Osaka Digital Exchange (ODX) is the first of its kind and includes key players in the traditional Japanese finance sector such as SBI Holdings and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG).
The platform has been granted regulatory approval by Japan’s financial watchdog, paving the way for Start’s operations which are scheduled for December 25. To kick off, ODX will issue approximately 3 billion yen (about $20 million) worth of tokenized securities through a real estate company called Ichigo Owners. This issuance highlights the potential of blockchain technology to increase liquidity and accessibility for investment.
The launch of Start marks a significant milestone in Japan’s digital asset evolution, with the involvement of heavyweight financial institutions such as SBI Holdings and SMFG signaling an increase in interest and support from traditional finance for digital asset initiatives. This shift from traditional securities to digital ones is also being seen in other Asian markets such as Hong Kong and South Korea.
ODX’s introduction of digital securities trading on the Start Platform places it at the forefront of Japan’s financial transformation, offering new avenues for investment diversification and addressing the challenges posed by an ageing population.