Quantstamp Inc., a Y Combinator-backed blockchain security startup, has announced the establishment of a limited liability company, Quantstamp Japan GK, after receiving a “significant investment” from Nomura Holdings and Digital Garage.
Quantstamp Japan GK will focus on assisting Japanese startups and enterprises in using secure blockchain technology. Richard Ma, co-founder and CEO of Quantstamp Inc., said Japan was “an important market in digital payments.”
“We’re expanding our presence as we think that the market for smart contract-driven applications here is strong and will only be growing,” Ma added.
The beginning of 2019 was particularly eventful for the Japanese blockchain and crypto ecosystem with the release of a study on the merits of central bank digital currencies by the Bank of Japan, and the launch of a yen-pegged stablecoin by local banking giant Mizuho Financial Group, among key developments.
In recent years, Japan has emerged as one of the leading Asian nations in terms of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology adoption. Data released by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) in 2018 show that there were approximately 3.5 million active crypto traders in Japan.
Japan was also one of the earliest adopters of blockchain technology with companies including SBI, Rakuten, Recruit and Line actively involved in blockchain-related projects. The Japanese government itself has been exploring possible applications of blockchain in areas that include land and property registration, trade, and e-voting.
Founded in 2017 and based in the US, Quantstamp Inc. is developing a protocol that automates the auditing process of smart contracts in order to find bugs before contracts are published to the blockchain.
The Quantstamp protocol aims to be a scalable and cost-effective solution to the “smart contract security crisis,” which the company estimates has resulted in more than US$250 million worth of ether being either locked or stolen from the Ethereum network due to bugs in smart contracts.
Quantstamp currently focuses on Ethereum smart contract but its long term vision is to be protocol agnostic.
“As blockchain technology is adopted in the financial world, smart contracts will play an increasingly important role,” said Chuzaburo Yagi, senior managing director in charge of Innovations at Nomura Holdings, Inc. “Security assurances through auditing and certification will become increasingly indispensable.”