Fitting Hub right fit for Japanese banking on blockchain
Five Japanese banks have teamed up to launch a new financial services platform on blockchain.
The consortium is called Fitting Hub (FTH) and involves Aomori Bank, Bank of Iwate, Akita Bank, the Bank of Yokohama, and Yamanashi Chuo Bank.
Precise details are tricky to work out as FTH shares information only in Japanese for now. However, the platform is provided by FTH and the start date is scheduled for April.
FTH says its platform is a service provision infrastructure system built on the cloud for financial institutions and business operators to jointly provide financial services.
It’s all very dry, but FTH explains that it is possible to receive and manage form data from multiple financial institutions and companies on one screen.
The platform combines distributed register technology and data encryption technology for “a safe and low-cost system”.
In terms of its history, the FTH consortium was founded in July 2017 – with six unnamed regional banks and one unnamed IT vendor. In January 2018, it started construction of the platform.
By November 2018, it had started trial operations. Last month, it established a company via a joint investment from four unnamed regional banks and three unnamed IT vendors.
It has a capital of JPY 144.1 million ($1.29 million) and based on its website, its shareholders appear to be Aomori, Akita, Iwate, Yamanashi Chuo, IBM Japan, and NEC Corporation.
Away from FTH and its moments of vagueness, Japan’s interest in blockchain has intensified. There has been plenty of activity and ambitious intentions.
Last month, US-based Akamai Technologies teamed up with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) to form a joint venture for a new blockchain-based online payment network.
Prior to that, enterprise software firm R3 and SBI Holdings, R3’s largest shareholder, launched a new joint venture to promote the adoption of Corda in Japan and the wider East Asian region.
And those two were just recent examples.