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Panasonic explores using DCJPY digital currency for tourist passes

japan bus sightseeing tourist

Last week Panasonic announced a project to explore using the DCJPY digital currency for tourist passes. DCJPY is the tokenized deposit initiative backed by Japan’s largest firms, which plans to launch in mid 2024. The core of the experiment will involve sightseeing passes that allow tourists unlimited travel on trains and buses for a fixed fee, plus discounts at stores, restaurants and other recreation destinations. The goal is to divide the proceeds of the tourist’s payment using smart contracts.

Other project participants will include DeCurret, the company behind DCJPY; au Financial, a subsidiary of KDDI Telecom (a top 20 Japanese company by market cap); IT consultancy TIS; and SocioFuture.

Using smart contracts for tourist passes

Two key scenarios to be tested are dividing the sightseeing payment and rewarding someone who refers the tourist. Like any typical sightseeing pass, there’s a fixed payment for an unpredictable amount of travel. At a technical level, the tourist pass is a non fungible token (NFT).

If a tourist buys a sightseeing pass and doesn’t travel that much, the amount they pay might exceed the cost of the travel. In that scenario, the smart contract will calculate how much to pay each transport company and grant points to the tourist so they can use the points towards discounts during their holiday in the local area.

A second scenario involves the tourist doing quite a bit of travel, so the sight seeing pass is more than used. The smart contract then calculates how much to pay each transport company on a pro rata basis, and pays thems. This significantly reduces the amount of administration necessary and the transport companies receive the money faster. Additionally, if the tourist buys the sightseeing pass as a result of a referral, the introducer will automatically receive a reward.

DCJPY readies for launch

Meanwhile, DCJPY is gearing up to launch soon. It grew out of the Digital Currency Forum, a collaboration involving many of Japan’s largest banks and companies. Despite the the fact that DeCurret’s investors include MUFG and SMBC, and the involvement of Japan’s big four banks in the Digitial Currency Forum, the first bank to confirm a concret use case is GMO Aozora Net Bank.

Given banks will participate in the DCJPY infrastructure, security is paramount. To reduce the risk of a rogue smart contract impacting the banks, the network is divided into a Financial Zone where the tokenized money lives and multiple Business Zones where firms can deploy smart contracts such as the tourist pass.

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