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MUFG Shuts Blockchain Payments Network within a Year of Launch

Japan’s largest lender Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group announced Tuesday that it would close down the Blockchain-based online payment network, Global Open Network Japan, which was created in collaboration with Akamai Technologies.

The bank already began preparations for the stuttering. It cited a difficult environment in the payment area as the reason behind the move. According to the official press release, the bank’s slow growth in payment transactions numbers due to the COVID-19 pandemic impact and other factors made it difficult for the bank to grow its business on the scale initially anticipated.

Death of an Ambitious project

In 2019, Akamai and MUFG announced plans to create a joint venture for the development of a blockchain-based payments system. The project was delayed by prior to its launch in April 2021.

80 percent of the joint venture was owned by the Japanese bank, the rest with Akamai.

The primary goal of the project was to create a platform that could handle high scaling as well as multi-connectivity data processing in order to meet rising Internet of Things (IoT) demand. The bank stated in the shutdown notice that it was unable to adapt its solution to the IoT market’s growing needs.

GO-NET Japan is currently coordinating with clients and partners. Eventually, all operations will be closed and the liquidation process will begin. The Japanese bank stressed that the project’s closure will not affect its ongoing financial results.

MUFG remains bullish despite the closure of the project and is currently in discussions with Akamai about further collaboration.

“MUFG is looking at further collaboration opportunities with Akamai, and seeking to generate momentum in open innovation through alliances and global business partners. We also plan to use the most recent technologies based upon the GONET project experience,” said the lender.


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