Hitachi and BTMU Kick Off Blockchain Testing For Check Digitalization in Singapore

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Hitachi  and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (BTMU) today announced that they have started Proof of Concept (PoC) testing for using Blockchain technology for the digitalization of checks in the Republic of Singapore.

In the PoC testing, Hitachi and BTMU communally developed a system in which Blockchain infrastructure are used for issuing, transferring and collecting electronic checks. Using the system, BTMU issues and settles checks and some of Hitachi Group companies in Singapore receive the electronic check and deposit the funds.

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Through the PoC testing, Hitachi and BTMU will be able to identify issues from various perspectives such as technology, security, operation, and legal perspectives, and aim to realize new FinTech services including digitalization of checks.

In recent years, various efforts towards providing new financial services that utilize Blockchain technology and making financial services more efficient have been accelerated. Blockchain is a technology which makes difficult to tamper the data, sharing the data related to processes among multiple computers over networks. With applying Blockchain technology, it is expected to reduce system investments and to realize providing reliable and convenient financial services.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has recently released a consultation paper on proposed guidelines for a regulatory sandbox framework to facilitate the advancement of FinTech services. With the framework, this PoC testing aims to identify issues for practical use, issuing and settling check by Blockchain technology on a system developed by Hitachi Asia Ltd., the Asian regional headquarters of Hitachi, Ltd. and BTMU as one of the collaborative creations between Hitachi and BTMU in the Asian region.

The digitalization of checks makes it possible to automate the workloads of intermediaries for checks in financial institutions, to avoid tampering and to speed up settling checks. In addition, it is expected that similar approaches can be applied to payment and supply chain finance in non-financial sectors in the future.

Based on this PoC testing, Hitachi and BTMU will increase efforts towards putting Blockchain technology into practical use, and will contribute towards the global expansion and evolution of financial services.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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