On September 11, the fifteenth U.S.-Japan Council Business Advisory Board (BAB) was held at the Tokyo American Club, welcoming Mike Kayamori, CEO and co-founder of QUOINE, as the featured speaker.
Mr. Kayamori (center) with USJC Board Members: (L-R) Scott Sato, Ernest Higa, Irene Hirano Inouye, Masaaki Tanaka, Kathy Matsui and Dennis Teranishi
The meeting began with welcome remarks from Scott Sato, Member of the USJC Board of Directors, and Masaaki Tanaka, Chairman of the Business Advisory Board. USJC President Irene Hirano Inouye offered updates on recent USJC activities, including the 2018 TOMODACHI Generation Summit in September, Japanese Heritage Day led by TOMODACHI Emerging Leaders Program alumni in August, and the upcoming 2018 USJC Annual Conference to be held in Tokyo in November.
Prior to the keynote speech, four honorable guests were given the opportunity to introduce themselves to their fellow BAB members. Shaun Lawson, Hidetsugu Nonaka, Eriko Talley and Koichiro Ue all stressed their close ties to both the United States and Japan and their desire to build even stronger relations between the two countries, underscoring the mission of USJC and BAB.
Council Leader Eriko Talley discusses her work in U.S.-Japan relations
Mr. Kayamori then introduced himself, explaining the inspiration behind his desire to make financial services available to all through cryptocurrency. When Mr. Kayamori was working in Southeast Asia, he realized that not many people had wallets, but everyone had smartphones, proving that digital currency was the future. He co-founded QUOINE in 2014 with Mario Gomez-Lozada. The company now has over 300 staff representing 28 nationalities, and in 2017, became the first global crypto FinTech company to be licensed by Japan. Most users are millennials who see cryptocurrency as the future.
Mr. Kayamori addressing the audience
Mr. Kayamori then elaborated on the concepts of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, explaining the significance of this emerging sector. Blockchain is a digital record of bitcoin transactions implemented as a chain of blocks created by bitcoin miners, generating a large distributive database that cannot be altered. For customers, cryptocurrency is convenient and secure. Mr. Kayamori believes that it can become a global currency, and is inspired by its social impact. He said that cryptocurrency needs to have greater scrutiny and regulation (there have been some hacking incidents), but remained very positive about its future overall.
Click here to see more photos from the 15th BAB event.