Japan’s SBI Holdings To Trial New Cryptocurrency For Retail Purchasesbr>
Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings will be trialing a new cryptocurrency for mobile retail payments next month.
The new cryptocurrency, dubbed S Coin, was developed by SBI using a blockchain solution provided by tech startup Orb. The cryptocurrency allows users to charge and settle transactions via a smartphone. The proof-of-concept trial will involve SBI employees using S Coin at various bars and restaurants in SBI’s Roppongi Izumi Garden Tower headquarters.
SBI has teamed with Glory Corporation to provide an automatic cash machine that accepts credit cards and other payment means for users to top up their smartphone wallet balances with S Coins. The machine also offers various products.
“By doing this, we exchange cash with various electronic currencies and verify whether we can meet the needs of various users envisioned,” the release said. “After that, we will promote consideration of electronic currency settlement, such as enabling settlement with Glory’s products … SBIH, Orb [and] Glory will create a cashless society by offering various settlement infrastructure, looking to the FinTech market that has been created by changes in users’ payment devices and technological innovation accompanying the spread of smartphones in recent years.”
SBI noted that the S Coin platform also enables users to “design and publish” custom cryptocurrencies for specific applications using Orb’s blockchain technology.
In a separate announcement, SBI Ripple Asia, a joint venture between SBI Holdings and Ripple, said it has completed registration with the Kantou bureau of Japan’s Ministry of Finance as a licensed agent for handling electronic payments. The license allows SBI Ripple Asia to roll out its MoneyTap payments app in the country. The app is designed to facilitate peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfer for retail users over a blockchain network.