Japanese Mizuho Financial Group has partnered with technology giant IBM to explore the potential of blockchain technology in settlements.


Mizuho will study the instantaneous swapping of payments by including blockchain technology into settlements with virtual currency.

The move could result in offering new financial services based on the fast evolving technology.

The pilot project to be undertaken by Mizuho will utilize the open source code that has been contributed by IBM to the Hyperledger Project.

Mizuho senior technical officer Masahiko Katou said: "Mizuho Financial Group has a history of adopting new technologies to continuously improve customer services.

"In an era of technology transformation, Mizuho is testing blockchain, Watson, and other technologies to deliver high quality and more efficient customer services."

For the project, Mizuho is working with the newly-opened IBM Bluemix Garage in Tokyo.

IBM’s new facility offer blockchain services including blockchain application development using Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform, and assessments to assess the advantages of blockchain.

The technology firm will help the Japanese banking major to transform the design and development of business applications using blockchain.

IBM Japan industry sales managing director Masao Sanbe said: "Mizuho Financial Group is a leading financial institution known for adopting advanced technologies such as IBM Watson.

"IBM understands how to use blockchain and IBM Cloud as the technology foundation to transform the way businesses interact with their ecosystem of trading partners. IBM is proud to continue to support Mizuho Financial Group’s important initiatives."

In March, Mizuho Bank said that it was planning to use a new common robotics platform developed by IBM Research-Tokyo for its customer service-oriented robots.

The new technologies were expected to benefit the bank’s robotics platform by using Watson’s natural language and other cognitive capabilities.

The robots offers enhanced personalized customer interactions by interacting with them and analyze data from the Mizuho Bank website and customer-specific information.

Image:Mizuho Financial Group Headquarters the Otemachi Tower in Tokyo. Photo courtesy of Gungun01/Wikipedia.