Ripple Introduces New Fund to Drive Blockchain Growth in Japan and South Korea

Ripple Introduces New Fund to Drive Blockchain Growth in Japan and South Korea

Blockchain company Ripple has launched a Japan and Korea fund aimed at driving innovation on the XRP Ledger as it continues to expand its presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

XRP is Ripple’s native cryptocurrency and is powered by the XRP Ledger, an open-source, public enterprise blockchain. Ripple uses blockchain and cryptography to enable real-time, cross-border payments.

The funds will be used to support corporate partnerships, developer grants, startup investments and community growth, Ripple said in a statement on Tuesday. The XRPL Japan and Korea Fund is part of Ripple’s 1 billion XRP commitment announced in March 2022 to provide financial, technical and business support to 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,” Emi Yoshikawa, Ripple’s vice president of strategic initiatives, said in a statement.

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

Ripple said last year that Asia-Pacific is “one of its fastest growing regions” and that it 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-based supply chain finance solutions to the Japanese market. Ripple also established SBI Ripple Asia, a joint venture with Japanese financial services company SBI Holdings, in 2016 to accelerate the adoption of Ripple payment solutions in the region.

Ripple said the XRP ledger will be used to issue official Expo NFTs to millions of visitors to the 2025 World Expo in Osaka, Japan. Non-fungible tokens are unique virtual world objects in the form of artwork, audio or video files that are stored and verified using blockchain technology.

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

Ripple announced in April that it would issue a US dollar-denominated stablecoin, with President Monica Long saying it was “likely” to happen later this year.

In October, the US Securities and Exchange Commission dropped a December 2020 lawsuit against Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen that accused Ripple of violating the law by selling XRP without first registering the tokens with the SEC.

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