Blockchain News

Nippon Express Utilizes Blockchain in Pharma Transport Network

Nippon Express, a Japanese company dealing in logistics, is planning to integrate blockchain technology in a state-of-art pharmaceutical transportation system set to be developed next year.

The company has budgeted a considerable amount to the tune of 100 billion Yen, close to $100 billion, to build out a blockchain-powered transportation network for the pharmaceutical industry. By 2021, this full-fledged and launch its own line of drugs by 2021. In order to venture into this, tracking of the products in warehouses and transit along it’s logistics chain, including quality control measures are a must. 

How they will do it?

For this to become a reality, Nippon Express is employing all of its resources at home and collaborating with partners from abroad to achieve the to achieve their goal. Nippon has already partnered with Accenture to build sensors that check the temperature inside the trucks and in warehouses. Intel Japan also will contribute by rendering Radio-frequency identification tags for location tracking of the shipment which would track the location of the shipment. 

These technologies will enable the manufacturers and other parts of the logistics chain including medical organizations the ability to track the shipments in real-time via blockchain technology. Nippon express factories including its out for delivery network and services will embed the technology contributions of Accenture and Intel. Whatever data is being accessed will be saved and uploaded onto the blockchain which will give the transparency and real-time status updates for every shipment.  

The decision of Nippon Express came almost a month before the ‘Teamz blockchain summit’ to be held in the capital city of Tokyo. The summit is an important first step towards embedding blockchain technology more business undertakings. The date kept planned for the summit is April 22nd but whether or not it will happen due to the outbreak of Coronavirus is yet to be seen. Summit holders want this technology to be used in many other industries like Agriculture, fisheries, etc. The summit all set to take place in Japan proves that Japan is preparing itself for the future. 

Assuming that the event takes place, the initiative taken by Nippon will receive a further boost when the moguls of the industry meet, interact and create initiatives for the betterment of the industry. 

Japanese E Commerce Giant Rakuten Ventures Into Cryptocurrency

Rakuten, the largest e-commerce service in Japan and stands out as one of the largest in its field in the world has entered the Cryptocurrency space. The Japanese Amazon has announced it’s acceptance of applications from users for its very own Cryptocurrency exchange called Rakuten Wallet.

Rakuten Wallet

Rakuten Wallet currently is open to customers who are already Rakuten Bank’s customers. However, the announcement fails to mention if it will be available to people utilizing other bank accounts.

Rakuten received the license for its Cryptocurrency exchange at the end of March 2019 from the Japanese Financial Service Agency. The exchange is registered under the Kanto Local Financial Bureau as a virtual exchange service provider.

While in August 2018, Rakuten acquired the Cryptocurrency exchange called Everybody’s Bitcoin Inc for $2.4 million. Rakuten Wallet is a fresh version of a rebranded Everybody’s Bitcoin Inc. which will have a new database of users.

Rakuten has always been Crypto friendly with its acceptance of Bitcoin way back in 2015 when it utilized Bitnet for Bitcoin payment processing on it’s US website.

The Japanese Crypto Exchange Competition

It’s not going to be an easy road for Rakuten, given that popular names in Japan such as Yahoo! Japan’s Cryptocurrency exchange TaoTao is expected in May, this year.

Existing Japanese Cryptocurrency exchanges are already moving ahead one step at a time. For example, Coincheck has added Ethereum and Ripple in its over-the-counter trading desk.

Japan has come a long way since the devastating Mt. Gox disaster. Mt. Gox originated from Japan, and things took a turn amongst the growing Crypto community in Japan as soon as it occurred.

Japan is seen to be a prime example of how Cryptocurrency was seen to be a disaster and scam but turned out to be the much-needed change into digital payments. Renowned Japanese bank Mitsubishi UFJ has announced the creation of it’s very own Cryptocurrency suggesting that the overall outlook in the Crypto space in Japan looks extremely positive.

CEO of Indian Cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, Nischal Shetty did not miss out on tweeting about Rakuten’s step into the Cryptocurrency space. He even touched on how India has a long way to go in the digital space.

Kakao Raises Millions for Blockchain Unit – Ground X

Kakao, a South Korean internet company known mostly for it’s messaging application has made tremendous progress for its Blockchain and Crypto unit. A whopping $90 million has been raised through a private coin offering. Ground X is working towards another $90 to $100 million in order to further develop its Blockchain platform.

Kakao’s Dominance In South Korea’ Tech World

Kakao was established in 2014 and gained prominence from KakaoTalk which is a free mobile instant messaging application for smartphones. KakaoTalk has 220 million registered users and 47 million active monthly users.

Kakao’s Blockchain unit Ground X Corp dubbed Klaytn could help Kakao in establishing itself in Blockchain at a time when it’s creating a buzz and gaining a lot of ground. KakaoTalk also has plans for utilising the Blockchain platform. Ground X Corp has already partnered up with 26 companies such as popular game developer Wemade Entertainment Co. to run applications on the platform.

The Rise of Messaging Applications on Blockchain

Whatsapp and Telegram, which are both the most popular messaging applications currently used have already shown an active interest in Blockchain and Cryptocurrency.

Telegram especially has made an enormous impact in the ICO market, with $1.7 billion raised last year, while Whatsapp coin is reported to be launched later this year. Whatsapp is reported to roll out a digital currency pegged to the US Dollar and will be used in India first for the huge population to send money to and fro the messaging platform.

Ground X currently has offices in South Korea and Japan and is working towards achieving mass adoption of Blockchain services. Further plans of working with the Seoul Digital Foundation, which is part of the Seoul Metropolitan Government will help gradually decentralise Korea’s governmental services.

GMO Confirms Yen Backed Stablecoin GYEN

GMO Internet has finally confirmed the launch of the Yen Backed stable coin called GYEN.

GMO released information regarding the confirmation of GYEN through an earnings presentation to investors for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2018.

The attendees asked questions about several of GMO’s cryptocurrency business. What struck out was the answer given when asked about GYEN, the stablecoin to which one of the executives of GMO answered, “Regarding the plan to launch GYEN as announced last year, we plan to issue it overseas this year.”

The executive further briefed on GYEN’s operations such as a subsidiary setup and a lead being appointed to run GYEN’s operations.

GMO’s Crypto businesses

GMO clarified several details regarding their crypto mining businesses. One such information revealed was the shutting down of its Northern European mining site and the relocation of it by the end of 2019. Location of the new mine is not known, but hints about local electricity costs being less than half of Northern Europe was mentioned.

Overall GMO’s earnings report indicate 2.3 billion Japanese Yen which is approximately equal to US $20.8 million in revenue for the last quarter of 2018. The report’s figures analyze that earnings were the best in Q2, followed by Q4 and the worst reported to being Q3 of 2018.

However, the profit to owners of the parent company was far less and was in the losses of 20.7 billion Yen which is about US$ 187 million. The main reason cited for this loss was due to the cryptocurrency mining business restructuring.

GMO is not the only company that has suffered from crypto mining. Several major companies such as Bitmain faced a horrendous 2018 compared to the vast crypto mining profits of 2017.

The Rise of Stablecoins

GMO’s GYEN coin is one of the many stablecoins which are releasing this year. South Korean BaB Inc’s KRWb coin was released at the end of January 2019. KRWb coin is reported to be the first stablecoin backed by Korean Won.

Interested in Stablecoins? Want to know more? Check out Do Stablecoins Help or Harm Cryptocurrency  and Stablecoin – What are they and Can It Even Be Done?

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Interested in more crypto content? Check out How to Stay on Top of the Market – Crypto Trends and A Beginner’s Guide in Cryptocurrency Investing

Japanese city first to deploy online voting system based on blockchain

The government of Tsukuba city is leading all other Japanese local governments by introducing an online voting system based on My Number recognition mechanism and blockchain technology.

Blockchain technology brings the much-required voting transparency

Tsukuba city is globally known as the emerging center of scientific research in Japan, and is now the first city to use such a system for voting purposes. The voting system enables voters to register a vote by means of a computer display proceeding with the use of “My Number” card on an electronic reader device.

On the other hand, the use of blockchain technology introduces several key advantages like prohibiting the fabrication and forging of data, greatly improving the overall transparency of the election process. Previously, this voting system has been deployed for different proposal selection mechanisms related to various social benefit schemes.

It was reported that the mayor of Tsukuba, Tatsuo Igarashi, found the system simple to use, contradicting his previous impression of the system being too complicated.

Overcoming systemic complexities

In the beginning, several complications were reported; for instance, many of the people who cast votes forgot their passwords, which were highly essential for the voting. Secondly, it was perplexing to tell if a vote was counted or not after being cast, leading to a certain degree of skepticism.

A professor from Tohoku University who is a prominent supporter of online voting, Professor Kazunori Kawamura said,

“The election boards and managerial federations are somewhat reluctant to introduce such systems in their communities due to the likelihood of technical complications. However, it is fundamental here to boost their reputation by consistently using such voting systems. Especially, expatriates should be encouraged to use them for casting their votes”

If you didn’t know, you should now…Crypto is Coming.

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