In July and August, insurance company Daido Life Insurance is running a proof of concept (PoC) for a Daido Life branded digital currency. The trial involves 100 Daido Life employees who will hold the currency in a digital wallet, use the money to buy items and potentially receive coins based on their behavior.
From the life insurer’s perspective, they are keen to keep their clients as healthy as possible. So this could act as an incentive. For example, the wallet could be linked to a health app and it might accumulate coins based on a daily step count.
Ultimately the aim is to test the use of the currency for collecting insurance premiums and benefit payments.
The technology partner is DeCurret, which operates a Virtual Currency Exchange, and hopes to commercialize its white label digital currency blockchain platform for use by other firms. The startup has a total capital of 11.4 billion Yen ($106 million).
Daido Life, a member of the T&D Insurance Group, invested in DeCurret in July 2019 as part of a 3.4 billion Yen ($31 million) financing. In a ‘pseudo’ debt to equity swap in April this year, 2.75 billion Yen ($25 million) of capital was issued to Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ), the Japanese ISP, and the company’s largest shareholder. DeCurret’s President and CEO, Kazuhiro Tokita, spent eight years at IIJ before setting up DeCurret in April 2018.
At the time of the July 2019 fundraising, DeCurret made clear that it was interested in digital currency, not just virtual currency, the term associated with cryptocurrencies in Japan. Particularly the focus is on integration of transactions and settlements.
Other DeCurret investors include Sumitomo Life Insurance, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance, telecoms firm KDDI, telecoms equipment firm Enecom, gambling and entertainment company Konami, Chubu Electric, Matsui Securities, security company Alsok, Toppan Printing and transport conglomerate Hankyu Hanshin Holdings.