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


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Ripple cryptocurrency is seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on June 4, 2021. (Photo Illustration by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images

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

XRP is Ripple’s native cryptocurrency which is powered by the XRP Ledger, an open-source, public blockchain built for corporations. Ripple uses blockchain and crypto to facilitate real-time, cross-border payments.

The funds will go toward supporting corporate partnerships, developer grants, startup investments and community growth, Ripple said Tuesday in a statement. The XRPL Japan and Korea Fund is part of Ripple’s commitment to 1 billion XRP aimed at providing financial, technical, and business support for developers, which was announced in March 2022.

“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, according to the 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 bring XRPL-powered supply chain finance solutions to the Japanese market. It also launched SBI Ripple Asia in 2016, a joint venture with Japanese financial services company SBI Holdings, to drive the adoption of Ripple payments solutions in the region.

Ripple said the XRP Ledger will be used for issuing official Expo NFTs for millions of attendees at the World Expo 2025 in Osaka, Japan. Non-fungible tokens are unique virtual world objects that come in the form of artwork, audio or videos, and are stored and verified using blockchain technology

Ripple obtained a full license to operate in Singapore in October since establishing the city-state as its Asia-Pacific headquarters in 2017.

In April, Ripple announced it was launching a U.S. dollar stablecoin, which its president Monica Long said would “likely” happen this year.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in October dropped claims against Garlinghouse and co-founder Chris Larsen in its December 2020 lawsuit alleging Ripple had violated laws by selling XRP without first registering the token with the SEC.

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