Japanese financial services company and owner of the Coincheck cryptocurrency exchange, Monex Group, has filed an application to join the Libra Association – the consortium that will operate and develop Facebook’s proposed ‘Libra’ cryptocurrency alongside the social media giant.

Monex Comprises First Japanese Firm to Express Interest in Libra Association

The application was announced on July 26 by the president of Monex Group, Oki Matsumoto, during the firm’s meeting to discuss its performance during the second quarter of 2019. Mr. Matsumatuo reportedly expressed his belief that the venture offers “various possibilities,” including bolstering “financial inclusion” and driving growth in cross-border sales.

Mr. Matsumatuo also stated that the increasing involvement from major global companies within the virtual currency sector is helping to drive mainstream adoption and regulatory approval from regulators, stating

The more you try to stop the virtual currency, the more you go underground. I think that this tendency will cede to the idea that reliable operators are better.

Facebook is expected to review Monex’s application by the end of summer, after which Monex will finalize whether or not it will join the consortium. If successful, the firm will become the first Japanese company to join the association, joining the likes of Visa, Mastercard, Uber, and eBay among the 28 companies expected to comprise the Libra Association.

Companies Eyeing Libra Association Membership Haven’t Formally Joined

During Visa’s Q3 earnings call on July 23, Alfred Kelly, the chief executive officer and board chairman of Visa, revealed that none of the companies expect to join the Libra Association have officially done so yet.

In response to a question regarding the level of involvement Visa is expected to play in the Libra project, Mr. Kelly stated that the company’s involvement in the project will be decided by a “number of factors, including obviously the ability of the association to satisfy all the requisite regulatory requirements,” adding: “ in my estimation, its really, really early days and there’s just a tremendous amount to be finalized.”

“So we have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to join Libra. We’re one of – I think it’s 27 companies that have expressed that interest. So, no one has yet officially joined,” said Mr. Kelly.