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Japanese and South Korean blockchain groups team up

Both sides will share knowledge on tech behind digital currencies like bitcoin

SEOUL -- Two blockchain industry groups from Japan and South Korea agreed Tuesday to work together to promote wider use of the digital ledger technology, which underpins virtual currencies such as bitcoin.

Japan's Blockchain Collaborative Consortium, or BCCC, and South Korea's public-private Blockchain Open Forum will partner to teach people about the technology. The BCCC's roughly 200 members include startups, financial institutions and trading companies. The Blockchain Open Forum has 157 members including startups and information technology companies, government organizations and universities.

Japan has adopted digital coins more broadly than South Korea has, but the latter has gone further in finding business applications for blockchain, such as transaction settlement and insurance claim payment.

"One of blockchain's special features is that it lacks borders," BCCC Chairman Yoichiro Hirano said at the signing ceremony. He expressed a desire for the group to "cooperate with South Korea toward the development and popularization" of the technology.

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