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SoftBank initiative aims to blockchainify mobile payments across the globe

Ring, ring, this is blockchain calling

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A trio of corporations lead by Japanese based SoftBank have devised a working proof-of-concept (PoC) underpinned by blockchain that allows users to make peer-to-peer payments from their mobile phones.

SoftBank, Synchronoss, and TBCASoft have come together to develop a method of payment that would allow users to travel the world and spend their cash without needing to visit a conventional currency exchange or transfer money overseas.

Specifically it is TBCASoft that brings blockchain to the party in this partnership, with its experience in cross-carrier blockchain systems. Which means that users will be able to send payments regardless of what network they use.

“The three companies have successfully completed a mobile payments service PoC that is designed to allow users to make a range of in-store, mobile and digital purchases directly from their device.” The press release continues, “[a] mobile customer based in Japan, for example, can travel to the USA and make a purchase in dollars via RCS [Rich Communication Services] which is supported by SoftBank and Synchronoss”

At this point in time the specific functionality of this PoC remains unclear. The suggestion is that payments will be made in fiat currencies without the need for a specific bank, presumably funds will be tracked and recorded on a blockchain-based platform.

Hard Fork reached out to SoftBank for clarification and we will update this piece as we learn more. The PoC is being demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress Americas conference this week, so more information could be about to surface.

While it remains to be seen if this will enable users to transfer and spend cryptocurrency on the high street directly from their phones, there are many initiatives that are trying a similar thing. Such as Coinbase’s cryptocurrency loaded gift cards or Revolut’s Metal card.

Published September 12, 2018 — 15:24 UTC

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