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Recruit Holdings, a $50 billion tech company, makes strategic investment in Blockstack


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The new partnership helps give Blockstack fertile ground on which to grow.

Recruit Holdings has an interesting history. The Japanese company was founded in 1960 as a newspaper advertising agent, specialising in university newspapers and job placements. A few years later this focus saw it evolve into a recruitment firm.

From there it expanded and started folding other businesses under its wing. A couple of decades later, in 1988, it may have unintentionally changed the course of history by forcing political upheaval in Japan through an insider trading and corruption scandal.

It's quite appropriate. After all, revealing corruption and forcing political resignations is exactly what good newspapers aspire to.

After the scandal, Recruit was absorbed by another holding company and it kept growing from there.

Today some of the best-known names under the Recruit Holdings umbrella include Indeed and Glassdoor, recently acquired for US$1.2 billion and $1 billion respectively, and Recruit Holdings is now a $50 billion tech company, specialising in education, employment and matchmaking, but also plenty of other areas.

This context is worthwhile for the purpose of understanding the scale of recruit holdings, the potential significance of its Blockstack investment and because it just goes to show that newspapers really can be profitable.

It gives Blockstack a direct line to educational institutions, employers and a wide range of digital communities, as well as an expansive set of industries across which to explore blockchain solutions.

It also helps contextualise a recent partnership between Blockstack and Lambda School, with Blockstack taking form as an education/jobs-oriented blockchain.

Strategic Blockstack investment

The investment comes from the RSP (Recruit Strategic Partners) Blockchain Tech Fund.

"Blockstack was an obvious choice for our next investment via the RSP Blockchain Tech Fund. We are constantly looking to uncover the most innovative, new technologies and business models, with the goal of increasing awareness of this technology in Japan," said an RSP spokesperson. "We are excited to support the expansion of Blockstack’s developer base, as the team continues to accelerate the growth of the Blockstack ecosystem."

Following the investment, the goal is to introduce Blockstack and its "Can't Be Evil" app ethos to the Japanese blockchain developers, to start building out a community in Japan, said Blockstack CEO Muneeb Ali.

"With this investment from Recruit Holdings, we plan to introduce the concept of Blockstack apps that Can’t Be Evil to Japanese developers and start building a community of developers and enthusiasts in Japan," he said. "We believe that the world is moving from cloud computing to decentralized computing, and we plan to explore use cases of Blockstack in cloud markets that Recruit operates in."

The Blockstack STX token was the USA's first SEC-approved general public security token sale. But this isn't RSP's first blockchain investment. Its other ventures include blockchain identity systems, logistics technology and the Mimblewimble-based Beam anonymous cryptocurrency.

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Disclosure: The author holds BNB, BTC at the time of writing.

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