Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), the fifth largest bank in the world with more than $2 trillion in assets, is collaborating with Akamai Technologies Inc., to launch a distributed ledger technology (DLT) based payments system called Global Open Network, according to a press release on February 13, 2019.
MUFG and Akamai Launch Blockchain Payments Network
As reported by BTCManager in May 2018, Japan’s largest lender, MUFG announced its strategic partnership with Akamai Technologies, in a bid to launch a payment platform powered by blockchain technology, to facilitate superfast and cost-efficient payments for its clients.
At the time, tha bank stated:
“MUFG and Akamai, via Akamai’s globally deployed high-speed and high-security platform, will use this new blockchain’s high-speed processing and secure value transfer abilities to facilitate pay-per-use, micropayments, and other new IoT generation payment methods, and to support the sharing economy by offering an open platform,”
Fast forward to 2019 and MUFG has made it clear that the proposed blockchain-based payments network will go live in the first half of 2020.
Specifically, the bank has hinted that the new joint venture will take advantage of both its (MUFG) years of experience in the finance industry and Akamai’s “intelligent edge platform” to support a vast array of payment schemes.
Per the team, the Akamai intelligent edge network is the world’s largest and most secure cloud delivery platform, processing more than one million transactions per second.
Akamai to Own 20 Percent of the New Global Open Network
Importantly, MUFG has stated explicitly that the proposed Global Open Network joint venture between it and Akamai will be established in Tokyo.
The DLT-based payments system will have a running capital of JPY 250 million of which Akamai will own 20 percent share of the company while MUFG will control the remaining 80 percent.
A Long Time Coming
Despite the nascent and super volatile nature of blockchain technology and cryptosphere, it worth noting that MUFG has been making serious plans to join the movement for a long time now.
In June 2016, BTCManager informed that MUFG had announced it was looking to launch own virtual currency dubbed, MUFG Coin, to allow its clients to seamlessly withdraw funds from their bank accounts into their smartphone apps at an exchange rate of 1 MUFG coin to 1 Japanese yen.
In related news, in April 2018, reports emerged that MUFG had joined Ripple’s Global Payments Steering Group (GPSG) to enable it to process lightning fast cross-border money transfers.