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Blockchain Firm Soramitsu Plans Asia-wide Digital Payment Network

Soramitsu plans to connect its Cambodia-based RTGS system, Bakong, to its cross-chain stablecoin exchange, creating a pan-Asian transfer and payment network.

Soramitsu Vivit Tama Asia Bakong

Japanese blockchain and FinTech developer Soramitsu has joined forces with Tokio-based integrator Vivit and the University of Tama to deliver a cross-border transfer and payment network between Asian countries and Japan. According to an announcement, the network aims to connect the markets of Southeast Asia, China and India with Japanese small and medium-sized producers, calling it "a new economic zone platform."

Soramitsu is building upon its expertise in the development of a real-time gross settlement (RTGS) and payments system for the central bank of Cambodia. The project, called Bakong, was successfully launched in 2020 and connected not only entities inside the country, but also organically extended into neighboring countries.

The company plans to connect the Bakong infrastructure to the cross-chain stablecoin exchange that it is building in collaboration with Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation. Such integration will allow the extension of the payment system to a multi-currency and multi-chain environment and make it a universal tool in the regional market.

Soramitsu is a global technology firm working in the decentralized ledger industry since 2016. Besides the RTGS and Central Bank Digital Currency systems, the firm has contracts for the development of various blockchain applications and solutions based on Hyperledger, Klaytn, Polkadot and Sora.

Currently, USD-denominated stablecoins have absolute dominance in the world. However, with the introduction of national crypto regulations in countries around the world, there are expected to be more stablecoins pegged to local currencies. If this is realized then the group's bet on this sector may have a good chance of success.

The use case given as an example in Soramitsu's announcement describes the process of multi-currency transactions:

If a consumer in Thailand wanted to make a QR code-based payment to buy something from a Japanese e-commerce site, the payment would be sent to the exchange as a dollar-denominated Bakong and converted to a yen-denominated stablecoin.

A spokesperson for Soramitsu further commented on their vision for the planned platform markets:

Generally, this project is for regulated stablecoins in Japan and other countries, as well as central bank digital currencies,"

Changes to Japan's payment law took effect in June, making it possible for banks to issue stablecoins. Local banks aim to issue yen-denominated stablecoins, some of which are expected to debut by 2024.

The roles in the new projects are distributed as follows:

Soramitsu will deliver the payment and transfer platform, Vivito is in charge of overall steering, planning, promotion and coordination, while Tama University will be engaged through its 'Center for Rule-making Strategies' think tank.