Japan’s Biggest Bank Alliance with U.S Based Firm to Launch a Blockchain Payment

Japan’s biggest bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG) and U.S based tech firm Akamai Technologies have come into an alliance to launch blockchain-based online payments network. The announcement was shared in a press release by MUFG on February 12.

Both firms have agreed to establish their strategic alliance towards the full-scale launch of a new payment network business. The firms have formed a joint venture called Global Open Network, Inc. (GO-NET) that aims to develop the platform by the first half of 2020.

The MUFG press report stated that:

 “We will strive to support diverse payment schemes that take IoT into account, to expand our payment network business globally and to further enhance our services.”

The GO-NET venture launches with a capital of 250 million yen, with MUFG having an 80% stake and the remaining 20% with Akamai.

According to Akamai’s press report, the tech firm will offer innovative Blockchain as a Service solution, which will utilize its globally distributed ‘Intelligent Edge Platform’ to power the online payment network.

Akamai’s Blockchain solution is capable of processing more than one million transactions per second at under two-second latency per transaction, which is faster than current solutions.

MUFG and AKAMAI technologies

Dr. Tom Leighton, CEO and co-founder of Akamai, said in the press release – “This joint venture with MUFG sets the stage for a new blockchain-based online payment system that can better serve customers’ and partners’ payment processing needs.”

MUFG has leveraged its broad presence and expertise in rendering financial services on a global scale. The new payment network is presumed to offer differentiated services with improved scalability, performance, reliability and security.

Hironori Kamezawa, Group CDTO of MUFG and CEO of GO-NET stated that “Financial services need to embrace digital innovation to meet greater demands for security, capacity and efficiencies, and to serve the evolving market and consumer needs.”

Akamai has leveraged its decades of experience in developing and executing distributed systems at a global level. The tech firm has also implemented market-leading performance and security services to develop Blockchain as a Service technology.

We have to wait and look as to what extent this new payment network business could disrupt the market. Until then, stay tuned for more updates.