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The Mizuho Financial Group, one of Japan’s largest financial services companies and among the three Japanese ‘megabanks’, has announced the development of a new blockchain application after completing trials of its custom digital currency and cross-border document sharing. The purpose of the trail was to test if a business process, built on a traditional centralized system, could be devised to function in a decentralized system at lower costs.
Japan’s Mizuho first partnered US-based IT solutions provider and consultant Cognizant this time last year with the aim to build a blockchain solution for secure record keeping of documents to be shared by various Mizuho companies and affiliates around the world.
In an announcement yesterday, Mizuho confirmed the trials were successful, stating that their tamper-proof blockchain solution proved an effective platform to share information among multiple companies within the Mizuho group. The benefits of the blockchain-based application pointed to cost savings and enhanced usability.
An excerpt from the announcement read:
[The ] application focused on enhancing collaboration across the Mizuho group through facilitating data sharing, as well as the issue and transfer of digital currency between Mizuho subsidiaries.
Mizuho’s custom digital currency was developed in partnership with technology giant IBM last year. The value of one unit of the bank’s digital currency was devised to be the equivalent of a single unit of the Japanese yen to replicate the fiat currency entirely in a digital form. In December, the digital currency was put to a trial in the social gathering of a group dinner party.
With its latest blockchain solution, Mizuho confirmed the successful trial of both issuing and transferring its digital currency between its affiliates and subsidiaries.
Perhaps notably, Mizuho also added that the blockchain-based IT infrastructure used by multiple group companies could be implemented swiftly in a cost-effective manner, paving the way for faster adoption of the financial technology.
The financial group points to storing and managing large volumes of data over a distributed ledger to be the next objective in its endeavor to research, explore and develop blockchain solutions.
Mizuho is, much like every other major global bank, investing heavily in blockchain research and development. In March 2016, a partnership between the bank and Japanese technology firm Fujitsu Labs led to the successful operational blockchain trial of same-day cross-border settlements of securities transactions.
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