Japan: Country’s largest bank launching Blockchain payments network in 2020

While many countries around the world had previously taken a strong stance against cryptocurrencies (although many have, and are reconsidering their skepticism), a few countries acknowledged the benefits that distributed ledger technology in blockchain and cryptocurrencies could have on economies around the world. Among those few countries is Japan, with the most progressive regulatory climate for cryptocurrencies. As of April 2017, Bitcoin and other digital currencies have been recognized as legal tender under the Payment Services Act.

In October 2018, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FAS) gave the cryptocurrency industry a self-regulatory status. Virtual Currency Exchange Association was given permission by the state to police and sanction exchanges for any violations.

The attitude towards cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology didn’t falter much even after some of the biggest cryptocurrency thefts occurred in Japanese exchanges like Mt. Gox, Coincheck and Zaif.

It only goes to show that Japan is forward thinking in its approach towards the mass adoption of digital currencies and blockchain technology.

Japan’s largest financial group – Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), which is also the world’s fifth largest bank by assets, is launching a blockchain-based payments network next year.

On Wednesday, February 12th, the firm announced the formation of a joint venture with US-based fintech firm Akamai Technologies with plans to develop the platform ‘by the first half of 2020.’

The system, called the Global Open Network, will have the capability of processing over a million transactions per second as claimed by MUFG. Akamai’s cloud computing platform and the internet of things (IOTA) will be integrated by the firms into the network.

The venture is capped at 250 million yen ($2.26 million) with MUFG having a stake of 80% with the remaining 20% going to Akamai.

The plans for the network was initially announced in May 2018. At the time of the initial announcement, Akamai stated that the network would provide a number of services including current payments processing, pay-per-use, micropayments and ‘other developing IoT-enabled payment transactions.’

MUFG has been exploring blockchain technology in several use-cases, for some time now. The firm participated in a pilot along with Spanish banking giant BBVA and France’s BNP Paribas, putting a syndicated loan for $150 million on the blockchain.

The group, in December 2017, launched a blockchain proof-of-concept with tech firm NTT for improving cross-border trading. In 2016, the firm was looking to develop its own digital currency named MUFG coin as part of its research into blockchain.

This article was originally sourced from here.

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