Canow x B-Labs Interview
Connect domestic and foreign companies and investors <canow Co., Ltd.> collaborates with B-Labs, an incubator with the parent relation, such as OK group, Canaan, and the Chinese Government.
Canow Co., Ltd. is a company established in April 2020, led by Kunihiro Katsuragi and Ryohei Osaka, who have been involved in the provision of products and services that utilize blockchain technology and token projects.
Mr. Katsuragi has experienced relations with foreign countries and Mr. Osaka has experienced marketing, but by seeing the wide business development of overseas industry companies, decided to establish a company connecting new companies and investors inside and outside Japan and working on education etc.
canow is already trying to expand its business by forming partnerships with several overseas companies.
While introducing its partner companies, canow will explore its strategy.
## The first partnership is the leading blockchain incubator in China
canow first formed a partnership with China’s leading blockchain incubator B-labs.
We asked Mr. Katsuragi, who is the representative of canow, and Ms. Lola Wang, the CEO of B-Labs, to talk about this partnership (henceforth abbreviated).
I would like to ask about the business content of B-Labs.
Lola: B-Labs is a blockchain incubator established by the three members of OK Group, Zhejiang, Tsinghua and Yangtze River Delta Research Institute and Canaan at the end of 2018.
OK Group is one of the earliest blockchain companies in China and is a leader in the global blockchain industry.
Delta Research Institute is a research institute jointly established by the Zhejiang Provincial Government and Tsinghua University.
Canaan is a global supercomputing solution provider that was listed on the NASDAQ market at the end of last year. It became the world’s first publicly listed company in the blockchain-related industry.
The establishment of B-Labs, which is the foundation of these three companies and institutions, has attracted a great deal of attention in China, and CCTV (China Central Television), the state-owned television, informed when BーLabs was established.
B-Labs has two main services: providing real space and incubation services for blockchain entrepreneurs and start-up companies.
In the center of Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, coworking space with a total area of about 1800 square meters provides a full range of office services. The French designer’s advanced space is an influential place that attracts a lot of people, including important events for the blockchain industry.
In addition, the incubation service provides services ranging from marketing promotion, financing, technical support, legal and compliance, to support start-up companies.
## The future of Chinese blockchain
Katsuragi: How do you think the blockchain in China will develop in the future?
Lola: In China, at present, the government has issued blockchain support policies, advocating the development of blockchain in addition to tokens, and looking for more suitable landing scenarios. So in the future, B-Labs will pay more attention to the technology development and application industry of blockchain products, and actively respond to government policies.
## What triggered the partnership?
What made you decide to form a partnership?
Katsuragi: When I went to visit China, I had the opportunity to talk with the people at B-Labs. We talked every day for half a year which is an unusual length in the blockchain industry, about what each wanted to do. We reached an agreement after knowing what we wanted to do and achieve was similar to each other.
Lola: When we first founded B-Labs, we had to spend some time creating coworking spaces, so our business resources were concentrated in China. However, the times are changing and we must adapt to that trend.
I was also paying attention to the incubation business in overseas markets outside of China, and I also wanted to create powerful projects.
Canow is an incubator with technical team and media influence in Japan. In fact, we can see a lot of policies and frequent administrative behaviors of Japan’s financial department, which also shows that the Japanese government hopes that the blockchain industry can develop in a more healthy and positive direction in Japan. Therefore, Japan needs standardized overseas institutions to guide the development direction of the blockchain market. It is worth mentioning that in March this year, Okcoin, a subsidiary of OK group, officially obtained a license in Japan. As one of the global layout of OK group, I am more optimistic about the Japanese market.
## Want to change this society with blockchain
What do you expect from each other?
Katsuragi: For canow, the background that B-Labs has is also a big attraction. They are connected to the key people in the industry, so I think that they are encouraging in terms of business development and information acquisition.
I feel that Japanese businesses, not just blockchains and tokens, are behind the world in terms of speed and accuracy of information.
Of course, I think there is a language problem. I myself have talked with people who are said to be key persons in overseas, but there were many things I felt that were completely different from what I heard in Japan.
With this tie-up, we have more opportunities to talk with such people directly and are able to interact with more realistic information.
Our mission is to expand the Japanese market, so we do not monopolize such experiences but share information and contacts with outsiders.
There are some people who think that they are suspicious because I am still young (laughs). I think that we can build trust as a canow by actually talking with the key person we introduced.
Lola: B-Labs hopes that China’s superior technology will be recognized overseas. China’s technological development capability is not yet well evaluated, so I hope that it will be an opportunity to improve such an impression.
We also want to introduce the latest technology from overseas into China.
canow is widely recognized as a Japanese organization with a wealth of experience in overseas projects. It can be said that B-Labs is the best partner when entering the Japanese blockchain market.
Katsuragi: I think the market crash due to the Lehman shock of 2008 was behind the birth of blockchain and tokens. Even though the market is confused by the new Corona Eruption, it is said that the impact on the economy will be more than that time, but we and B-Labs both seek overseas partners and want to create new things. I will.
I think it was a good thing that we were able to meet B-Labs when they were struggling to find a partner in Japan.
We also want to change this society with each other. We would like to cooperate not only in business and projects but also in fields such as education.
## Chinese blockchain and token business features
Now, let’s ask Mr. Katsuragi about the situation in China. First, what are your thoughts on Chinese blockchain entrepreneurs and start-ups?
Katsuragi: I’m aware of good relationships with major exchanges, but I’m reaffirming that each of them is working harder than I imagined and that the industry is successful.
Did you notice anything while doing business?
Katsuragi: Their style is to only do business with people who can find value and have a win-win relationship.
In addition, the speed of business is fast, and I have the impression that not only exchanges but startups have excellent missions with clear vision.
As we work with them, we sometimes have a quarrel because of candid opinions. By repeating such negotiations, I sometimes feel that the negotiations have improved (laughs), but after the bargaining ends and the agreement is reached, I often have a family-like relationship.
In addition, while growing companies are pursuing profits, they are always thinking about how society will change in the future. There are many young people like me, but I am stimulated by the fact that such conversations continue to appear even when we are eating.
Are there any differences due to the trend of incubation services?
Katsuragi: Since there are differences in systems and regulations from Japan, such as the positioning of tokens for startups, there are many differences.
For example, in the stock market, a limited number of angel investors may invest in a startup that aims for an IPO as in Japan and purchase unlisted stock to obtain a listed profit.
This is not the case with tokens, and I think that ICOs and IEOs used to be a larger number of small investors in the mass market buying tokens that have been listed and startups have raised funds from such small investors. ..
In China, the trend is so-called double exits, in which angel investors are invested in tokens and are given stock shares according to the amount invested when the company is listed.
In Japan, there are regulations by the Financial Services Agency, so it’s difficult, but I’ve seen money actually gather there, and I’ve been involved in doing that. It’s pretty logical in the scene.
The incubation side needs to be related to the exchange, tokens are assigned according to the characteristics of the exchange, marketers are added to it, and even the method of marketing and asset management is decided. Angel investors play a role in such a system.
I think this is an incubation only in China, but I think that this kind of know-how is accumulating steadily.
Even in China, unless crypto projects are very promising projects, the world is no longer where prices will suddenly increase by 10 or 20 times. Of course, many small investors are still dreaming. For the incubation side, for large investors and the affluent, tokens do not return dozens or hundreds of times, it is going to be thinking about how to return them to become their ultimate fans.
In the unlisted stock market, the hurdle for holding a stock before the listing is high, so it is positioned that the token can be involved in the unlisted stock in some way.
The incubation side cannot betray the large investors and the wealthy who have long sought support. Therefore, the incubator side is always thinking about how to connect with good exchanges, how to connect with real business, and how to connect with legal currency. Even though there are differences in systems, it is inspiring to us.
Is Japan delayed?
Katsuragi: Although there may be such a place due to regulations, there are certainly many people who think that Japanese regulations will become the standard.
I think the FSA is now trying to keep out bad actors. I hope that the regulations will be loosen after that time.
What are your thoughts on future partnerships?
Katsuragi: There are about 10 companies that are almost fixed. Incubators and exchanges, as well as companies that want to do incubation, are people who appreciate the value of our goals and agree with them.
## What canow aims for
Can you tell us about the future development of canow?
I want to focus on education. Even in Japan, the time when you can get big money by listing tokens is gone.
I would like to enhance educational content that logically explains how to use tokens for business under the current laws and regulations to secure the sociality of blockchains and tokens and spread recognition.
Although there are some difficulties with regulatory and institutional barriers, it is also necessary to raise overall literacy by considering how to raise funds by combining tokens and stocks like in China, which I mentioned earlier.
I also have the impression that tokens and blockchains are now some distance from other popular industries. Under such circumstances, I think it would be nice to be able to reduce that distance by accumulating the fact that blockchain technology and ideas are being adopted in business.
Furthermore, as a business company, of course, we will make steady sales, but at the same time, I think that social contribution can be considered around block chains and tokens.
I think it is significant that we were able to form a partnership with B-Labs in order to advance such things. They are attracting a large number of people involved in blockchain, with their network of leading companies and organizations that are the founding body. They see blockchain in Japan as having potential, and, like us, are convinced that technological development will benefit people around the world. I would like to take on new challenges with them who share such awareness.
Similar to our partnership with B-Labs, we would like to collaborate with partners around the world and take action with impact through new technologies and ideas.
Canow Co., Ltd. CEO Katsuragi Kunihiro
Born in 1995. As a COO at the previous job, IFA Co., Ltd. completed the concept of data bank and actively participated in negotiations with overseas exchanges and companies, Delta summit, D.FINE, and other conferences around the world as a speaker. Established “canow Co., Ltd.” to support many companies as a bridge between Japan and overseas, and assumed the post of CEO. Currently, he is engaged in numerous services centered on the incubation business.
B-Labs CEO Lola Wang
Born in China Completed a master’s degree in Spain after graduating as an exchange student while studying at university.
After returning to China, worked in media public relations at Blue Focus Group.
After joining the OK Group in 2018, she will become one of the initial participants in the B-lab project and witness the growth of B-lab. Appointed as CEO of B-labs in May 2020.
Company Name: canow co.,ltd
Media contact: Ray Osaka
Email: [email protected]