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Blockchain wins backing in Japan as Libra tips scales

Nomura and Daiwa pursue online rivals Rakuten and Monex in new digital race

TOKYO -- Japan's big, established brokerage houses are opening up to blockchain -- the technology behind bitcoin -- in a growing recognition of its game-changing potential despite a year and a half of setbacks for cryptocurrencies.

On Tuesday, Nomura and Daiwa, two of Japan's leading traditional brokerages, joined online players including Rakuten and Monex in a new association which will set rules for issuing blockchain-based digital securities. Known as security tokens, proponents claim this digital system can make the existing method of transferring securities obsolete. The association is headed by Nomura's arch rival, online broker SBI Securities.

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