One of Japan’s largest banking interests, Mizuho, has successfully tested a cryptocurrency that it created in collaboration with IBM Japan as a means to achieve lower money transfer costs. According to a report published by the Nikkei Asian Review, the new digital currency was being tested from July to September, 2016, via an app designed to calculate dinner party participants’ share of the dinner tab.
The test also focused on determining whether the digital currency could be used by a single user to pay the entire bill, as well as whether other services could be created to provide alerts and other important information. The tests reportedly achieved satisfactory results, and Mizuho and IBM are now expected to evaluate whether they can use the new currency to create real services. During those tests, the value of the Mizuho currency was pegged at the digital equivalent of one Japanese yen.
Mizuho made news early in 2016 with its trials involving payment settling. Those tests achieved same-day settlements that were found to be tamper-proof. It is also worth noting that the bank’s testing methodology continues to be rooted in actual common user scenarios of the type that average traders and consumers find themselves in when using digital currencies.
While the tests have been successful to date, there are still concerns about the fundamental issue of user privacy. Mizuho is unlikely to push widespread implementation of the technology until user information can be properly safeguarded in a reliable way.