MUFG and Akamai to Launch Blockchain Payment Network in 2020


Japan’s largest financial conglomerate Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) has joined hands with Akamai Technologies to roll out blockchain-based online payment network in next year, the firms said in an announcement on February 12.

According to the announcement, both the firms are collaborating since last three years and have formed a joint venture called the Global Open Network (Go-Net) aiming to develop the platform by the first half of 2020.

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Commenting on the partnership, Dr. Tom Leighton, CEO and co-founder of Akamai, said: “This joint venture with MUFG sets the stage for a new blockchain-based online payment system that can better serve customers’ and partners’ payment processing needs.”

“The collaboration between MUFG and Akamai over the last three years has demonstrated what is possible when industry leaders join forces to solve a challenging problem. Akamai and MUFG are committed to delivering innovative solutions at a level of security, scale and responsiveness never before achieved.”

An Efficient and Scalable Platform

The firms are claiming that the new system will be able to handle millions of transactions per second. Moreover, the developers are also exploring the feasibility to add internet of things (IoT) and Akamai’s cloud computing platform into the blockchain-based network.

MUFG is very optimistic with the platform and said that there is potential to scale it to handle as many as 10 million transactions per second.

The new venture was established with a paid-up capital of 250 million yen ($2.26 million). MUFG has 80 percent of the stake while Akamai is holding the rest 20 percent.

“Financial services need to embrace digital innovation to meet greater demands for security, capacity, and efficiencies, and to serve [the] evolving market and consumer needs,” said Hironori Kamezawa, group CDTO of MUFG and CEO of Go-Net.

Blockchain is the Future of Payments

This is not the first blockchain initiative of MUFG as the financial giant is already collaborating with many other partners to explore the technology. Last November, MUFG along with Spanish banking giant BBVA and France’s BNP Paribas, participated in a pilot project to put a syndicated loan of $150 million on the blockchain.

“MUFG has high expectations for our joint venture with Akamai. Our goal is to enable rapid innovation in digital payment services, leveraging a transformative platform, with built-in security, hyper-scale, and efficiencies. GO-NET aims to expand the payment network business to a global scale, and enhance the services to support diverse payment ideas in the upcoming IoT era,” Kamezawa added.

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