Japan’s MUFG To Introduce Blockchain Payment Network

The bank also plans to launch a test phase of its own cryptocurrency, MUFG Coin

by Deyana Laguna
22 May • 2 min
In News

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), the world’s fifth-largest bank by assets and the largest in Japan, announced on Monday it has teamed up with Massachusetts-based cloud delivery giant Akamai Technologies to develop a global blockchain payment network.

MUFG said in a press release that tests conducted “under realistic business conditions” have demonstrated the platform’s capacity to process a million transactions per second and the ability to finalize transactions in less than two seconds. The bank says there is also potential to further scale this processing ability, permitting the handling of 10 million transactions per second.

“Until now, initiatives to increase the speed of blockchain had to sacrifice its fundamental structure or features. MUFG and Akamai’s blockchain-based platform offers higher capacity and increased transaction speed while preserving the intrinsic merits of blockchain,” MUFG said.

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The payment network is planned to go live in 2019. It will include an interface that functions as a communication network and will allow Internet of Things (IoT) payment methods like pay-per-use and micropayments.

MUFG Trials Own Cryptocurrency Next Year

Japanese news media outlet NHK reported last week that MUFG will trial its own cryptocurrency in 2019. The bank will be conducting the trial to proof the security of the system and remedy any problems in the payment process.

The test phase of the MUFG Coin could involve around 100,000 account holders who will download an app that will automatically convert their deposits. The digital currency will be pegged 1:1 to the Japanese Yen and will be used for “payments at places like restaurants, convenience stores and other shops,” as well as “transfer the currency to the accounts of other participants,” NHK revealed.

MUFG, which is a member of the R3 banking consortium's Distributed Ledger Group (DLG), has been exploring cryptocurrency alongside its broader FinTech initiatives since 2014, when it created its own innovation center. The bank has not provided any official information regarding the stage of development of its plan.