Five regional financial institutions aim to release the first services of their blockchain-based financial platform in April.
Bank of Iwate, Bank of Yokohama, Aomori Bank, Akita Bank and Yamanashi Chuo Bank will work together on the platform, dubbed “Fitting Hub.” The first service available on the platform — electronic delivery service — should launch in April, the press release notes.
Previous information had given a timeline for testing to begin in July 2018 and full deployment within a year, as local news agency Nikkei reported in late January 2018, when the partnership first surfaced.
Targeting a range of financial operations for efficiency improvements, the banks will leverage IBM’s expertise during the development phase.
The IT giant has built a major standing in the enterprise blockchain arena through the use of its dedicated IBM Blockchain suite of services.
“With the electronic delivery service that will be launched this time, it is possible to receive and manage form data from multiple financial institutions and companies on one screen,” the press release explains, continuing:
“For financial institutions and business operators who provide services, such joint service provision can make the system inexpensive compared to separate systems, as well as greatly reduce postage and mailing costs.”
As Cointelegraph reported, the Japanese banking sector is taking major integrative steps in both blockchain and cryptocurrency this year. Last month, Mizuho announced it would launch its own cryptocurrency platform and even release its own stablecoin.
At the same time, Daiwa, the country’s second-largest securities brokerage, confirmed it had completed a trial of a blockchain post-trade processing solution.
According Fitting Hub’s website, the new interbank project will likewise incorporate financial authentication and settlement functionality.