Animoca Brands is a big name in crypto games and web3 investments in Asia. It is making inroads into Japan as its local unit gets $45 million in financing at a pre-money valuation of $500 million.

The investment was paid for equally by the parent company, Animoca Brands, and MUFG Bank, which has been in business for 360 years and is the largest bank in Japan. It comes at a time when Japan is tightening rules around the crypto industry.

Japan isn’t the best place for crypto. At the moment, it puts a 30% corporate tax on profit from cryptocurrency holdings, including unrealized gains. This has led to a brain drain in the blockchain industry and calls for lower tax rates from local crypto startups.

But Japan is still a good place for NFT services to look for IPs because it has a lot of successful anime, manga, video games, movies, and musicians.

In fact, Animoca Brands Japan, whose parent company has backed the world’s largest NFT platform, OpenSea, plans to use the new money to “secure licenses for popular intellectual properties, develop internal capabilities, and promote adoption of Web3 to multiple partners.” This will increase the value and utility of their branded content while helping to build a safe and secure NFT ecosystem in Japan.

MUFG, which was made when Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and UFJ Bank merged, is not the only Japanese financial group to use NFTs. Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, a big bank, said in July that it wants to make a “Token Business Lab” that will help institutional customers interested in NFT applications. Blockchain startup HashPort will help with technical support.

Even Japan’s own tech companies are getting more interested in NFTs. Line opened its NFT marketplace in Japan in April. This was part of a plan that was made public last year. It was likely to happen because the Japanese messaging giant has already made millions of dollars from sticker sales and made a few sticker collections very popular. The 90 million Japanese Line users can now store their NFTs in a digital asset wallet powered by Line and trade them with friends.

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