Banking News

Japanese SBI Holdings trials blockchain based virtual currency

mobile payments

SBI Holdings, Orb, and Glory Corporation announced they would test the new S Coin blockchain platform for smartphone transactions. SBI is a Japanese financial services group which began as SoftBank Investment but ceased being a SoftBank subsidiary in 2005. The group first announced plans for using S Coin as a settlement coin a year ago.

The experiment will involve employees using S Coin at various bars and restaurants in the complex where SBI is headquartered. Staff will pay exclusively using their smartphones.

Glory has installed a machine which allows users to top up their S Coin e-wallet using their credit card. The terminal also offers various products.

The goal is to give a real-world test for S Coin, with an eye to further possibilities for DLT and the S Coin platform.

The S Coin platform is an issuing platform for digital currencies using Orb’s blockchain solution. Organisations or regions can design and distribute their own currencies. This is similar to Colored Coins as implemented by startup Colu. SBI Investment Co provided Orb with venture capital backing.

In future, the three companies aim for a more cashless society by setting up payment infrastructure to leverage the increased popularity of smartphones and “improve the convenience of [Satoshi] Nakamoto’s vision.”

SBI is very active in the blockchain sector. It has an investment in R3 and a joint venture with Ripple in the form of SBI Ripple Asia. The latter is expected to launch a mobile payment application called MoneyTap shortly. SBI brought together 61 Japanese bank members for the Ripple initiative. Additionally, the company owns the first bank-backed cryptocurrency exchange, SBI Virtual Currencies.


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