The University of Edinburgh and the Tokyo Institute of Technology are to open research labs focusing on blockchain technology and is to be sponsored by Ethereum cofounder Charles Hoskinson.

According to a report from Business Insider, Hoskinson said that $1 million is to be invested into the two blockchain labs by IOHK, a Hong Kong-based digital currency research and development company. Set up by Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood in 2015, it develops blockchains and digital currencies for governments, corporations, and academic establishments.

The two labs are expected to focus on issues such as smart contracts, how to upgrade digital currency systems, and cryptography. Committed to funding the Edinburgh and Tokyo research labs for the next two years, Hoskinson is hoping to expand the project to additional universities around the globe.

FinTech Hub in Scotland

Over the last few years, Scotland has expanded its reach within the FinTech sector with Glasgow being ranked within the top 20 of Europe’s best performing financial centers and fiftieth worldwide for its economic performance.

Not only that, but last month it was reported that Scotland’s University of Strathclyde announced that it was launching its new FinTech masters course.

The Master of Science (MSc) in Financial Technology will provide students the financial, programming, and analytical skills needed to help companies to improve their security. It is also hoped that this will set the course for supporting the digital transformation of Scotland’s growing financial sector while ensuring over 14,000 jobs over the next ten years by embracing the FinTech wave.

FinTech Slow in Japan, but Changing

A report in December found that while FinTech is growing in Japan, it’s doing so at a much slower pace compared to the rest of Asia. It is believed this is due to the country’s bank-strong culture.

Yet, while banks take the lead for many Japanese consumers, steps are being made to embrace the blockchain. So much so, that the Bank of Japan, the country’s central bank, started test driving the blockchain in December to better understand the innovation.

More recently, the Bank of Toyko-Mitsubishi UFJ, Japan’s largest bank, has started testing the digitization of checks on the blockchain using Singapore’s FinTech-friendly regulatory sandbox.

But as Japan prepares to enforce regulations upon bitcoin exchanges in the country, maybe the new blockchain research lab is just what the country needs to help bolster its understanding of the technology and improve funding in the country.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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