A new joint research project from four Japanese organizations has formed a collaborative to promote regional development of smart local currencies and blockchain technology.
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The University of Tokyo, The University of Aizu, Center for Global Communications (GLOCOM), and Soramitsu Co. have partnered to study “smart currency” effects on regional development.
The working groups will experiment with distributed ledger technology. The project will focus on the area around Aizu, in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. Researchers believe innovations in smart programmable money can bring local currencies to life. The press release explains:
The current research is studying the possibilities of using blockchain technology to create smart local currencies, with an emphasis on economic research to determine the contribution of local, digital currencies to regional economies.— Development of a platform for creating local currencies has already begun and in the Fall of 2016, Aizu will host various tests using local currencies.
Throughout the Fall of 2016 at The University of Tokyo and its Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, Professor Hideyuki Tanaka will research the effects of network economics and information technology (IT).
The University of Aizu OpenAppLab and regional technology center will look into the relationships of local smart currencies to solve regional problems.
Lastly, GLOCOM, who founded the Blockchain Economics Research Lab back in March 2016, will focus its efforts on socio-economic systems and the impact of distributed ledger technology.
Hyperledger Project Member Soramitsu Offers Resources
The research project will also be helped by the fintech startup Soramitsu, a company using blockchain technology to create a digital identity platform. Soramitsu is a member of the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Project, which aims to create international industry-wide distributed ledger standards. Soramitsu details the startup’s vision:
We envision a world where everyone can easily interact with each other using blockchain technology. To create this world, we are focusing on developing a digital identity platform for blockchains.
Japan is heavily involved in researching Bitcoin’s underlying technology and wants to be ahead of the game before the influx of mass adoption. Such working groups will ensure that Japan maintains its technological edge and doesn’t fall to the wayside when it comes to innovation.
What do you think about these four Japanese groups collaborating to promote blockchains and smart currencies? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of shutterstock, The University of Aizu, Soramitsu
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