Japanese blockchain developer HashPort has raised 1.2 billion Japanese yen ($8.5 million) in a Series C funding round led by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, The University of Tokyo Edge Capital Partners and Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa. The new round brings HashPort’s total funding to 2 billion yen ($14.2 million).
According to the July 28 announcement, the funds will allow HashPort to consolidate business and secure a compliance management system and related personnel to navigate the sophisticated global regulatory environment for its expansion. The HashPort ecosystem includes its namesake blockchain-related consulting and system solution in Japan and HashPalette, a public chain specializing in nonfungible tokens (NFTs). The company is also scheduled to launch a metaverse game dubbed The Land Elf Crossing in the fourth quarter.
In July 2021, HashPort’s Palette Chain partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck to launch Japan’s first initial exchange offering (IEO), or an initial coin offering facilitated by an exchange. The IEO raised a total of 22.45 billion yen ($160 million) in Palette (PLT) token commitments. The company claims that since then, PLT Place, the official NFT marketplace of Palette Chain, has accumulated over 370,000 users.
HashPort Group president Seihaku Yoshida said the company plans to cooperate with Expo 2025, an upcoming expo to be held in Osaka, Japan, to build digital wallets and digital passports linked to soulbound tokens (SBTs). “Expo 2025 is expected to attract more than 28 million visitors. If more than 10 million people experience Web3 for the first time, we believe this will be a historic event,” Yoshida wrote.
In December 2022, Cointelegraph reported that Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, now an investor in the company, partnered with HashPort to issue SBTs. The companies plan to research SBTs to explore practical uses for communities, jobs, knowledge-sharing services and decentralized autonomous organizations.
SBTs were previously proposed by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin as proof of the characteristics or reputation of a person, entity or “soul.” The name derives from soulbound items linked to a character in the MMORPG World of Warcraft.
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