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Japanese idol group AKB48. Source: Denis Amith (kndynt2099)/(CC 2.0)

J-pop is ready to take the crypto leap, with Japan’s biggest pop producer set to launch a new “idol group” (a boy or girl group) into the metaverse – a project that will be financed by an initial exchange offer (IEO).

In a press release, a Japanese crypto-pop crossover project named Overse announced that he will be working with Yasushi Akimoto, the country’s top pop record producer and lyricist, on a project that is set to launch next year.

Akimoto is the mastermind behind some of the biggest names in J-pop, such as Onyanko Club, Nogizaka46 and the AKB48 franchise.

Akimoto has sold over 100 million singles and is Japan’s best-selling lyricist. His success in creating all-female, chart-topping pop acts was unparalleled in his native country – and even saw him help form a South Korean girl group like Iz*One.

J-pop/crypto crossovers have increased in recent yearsand Overse hopes Akimoto’s Midas touch won’t fail him when the group debuts next year.

Overse wrote that Akimoto would serve as the “general producer” of the yet-unknown band.

He also wrote that the project would be funded by an IEO and that the group would be active in “blockchain technology” and “the metaverse.”

The company says it hopes to move forward with its IEO in “early 2023” – and will start selecting group members in the spring of next year. He hopes to finalize the group’s membership by the summer – with a debut to follow in the fall.

In a previous statement, the same company said it has reached an agreement with home crypto exchange DMM Bitcoin and crypto startup Coinbook. These two firms will carry out the IEO, the sale to take place on the DMM platform.

IEOs are still largely uncharted territory for Japanese exchanges, but several companies are hoping to move into the space in the coming months – following regulators moved last year formulate guidelines for the sector.

In Japan, “idol” groups refer to groups of boys and girls who are recruited and managed by powerful national talent agencies. “Idol”-style pop groups continued to dominate the music scene in much of East Asia – culminating in international chart success for the likes of BTS from South Korea.

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