In my previous article, I mainly talked about the blockchain events in Japan in 2018.
There is no doubt that those events raised awareness of the Japanese people towards blockchain.
In recent years, technological research and development of blockchain have progressed. Many companies are showing interest towards the technology and they are planning to incorporate it as part of their business strategy.
In this article, I will focus on the companies that have already made their move towards the technology.
SoftBank is one of the major mobile phone companies in Japan. The CEO, Masayoshi Son, has partnerships with overseas companies, including Apple and others and is constantly working on new business ventures.
It is a diversified company that started with a publication business and then expanded to software wholesale, communication, artificial intelligence research, etc. In recent years, it has started offering services using blockchain technology.
SOFTBANK has been researching and developing the technology so that it can be put to practical use earlier than anyone by utilizing the business expertise and strong connections with foreign companies.
Last autumn, in partnership with Synchronous Technologies and TBCASoft in the United States, SOFTBANK announced that it had implemented PoC (Proof of Concept) of the new mobile payment service utilizing International Standards for Message Service (RCS) and the blockchain technology of TBCASoft.
As a result, they have created a mechanism whereby users can settle payments in stores on mobile terminals.
Melpay, a subsidiary of Mercari, recently announced in Japan, is a system where users can use sales proceeds for settlement on mobile terminals. Although Melpay is not using blockchain technology, the CEO has a positive stance on using the technolgy in the future.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is one of the most well-known megabanks in Japan.
MUFG is currently developing blockchain jointly with a US company that offers a content delivery service. They are planning to put it into practical use by 2019.
This use of blockchain is a new technology that enables transaction processing faster than any conventional one. With this new technology, it is possible to make small payment such as micro-payments and hourly billing, with the view to expanding the settlement infrastructure with IoT devices.
Under the influence of Bitcoin, blockchain technology is still deeply connected to crypto- currencies in Japan, however; the use of blockchain has infinite possibilities and is not limited to the finance industry.
It is certain that MUFG will become a pioneer of blockchain technology in the financial industry.
It cannot be denied that Japan is slightly behind in blockchain technology compared to the rest of the world.
According to a Reuters' interview reported on February 09, 2018, Yoichiro Hirano, the representative director of the Blockchain Promotion Association (BCCC) thinks that there had not been many companies in Japan willing to take on new ventures adopting blockchain technology.
Under the influence of the previous events and the pioneering of major companies, I am hoping that peoples’ awareness towards blockchain will be increased, and many companies and organizations will be active in using blockchain for business.