On October 10, 2017, Japanese communication giant Fujitsu, in conjunction with major banks Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Mizuho Financial Group Inc., and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, announced a joint field trial for testing a peer-to-peer transaction system, backed by blockchain technology.
The preliminary trial will be scheduled to run January through March 2018, after the trial system is built. Work on the system began in September and is expected to continue until December 2017. According to the announcement, "Fujitsu will develop a cloud-based blockchain platform for money transfers between individuals that can be jointly used by these three major banks, as well as a smartphone application that allows users to easily handle the different steps for sending money and for making deposits and withdrawals."
A diagram provided by Fujitsu outlines the details of the field trial:
Fujitsu and the banks seek to test the viability of a money transfer system with blockchain provenance protocols in specific terms of security, clearing and settlement, and transaction load capacity by integrating a mobile application for smartphones. The trial will also evaluate user friendliness and practical functionality.
Japan has already been the site of innovation in blockchain technology, where the Japanese Financial Services Agency approved 11 exchanges to trade in cryptocurrency. The continued efforts of institutions within the island nation will likely be fostered by the relative acceptance of state officials.