The cloud delivery platform Akamai and the financial group MUFG are developing a new blockchain-based online payment network. The technology is expected to come in the first half of 2020.

Akamai technologies and Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) have partnered to launch a new blockchain-based online payment network, which will enable next-generation payment transaction scale and responsiveness.

Akamai is the global leader in Content Delivery Network (CDN) services and the most trusted cloud delivery platform, making the Internet fast, reliable and secure for its customers. The company’s advanced web performance, mobile performance, cloud security and media delivery solutions are revolutionizing how businesses optimize consumer, enterprise and entertainment experiences.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is a Japanese financial services company headquartered in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. Being the world’s fifth largest bank by total assets, the company offers comprehensive and tailored financial solutions to clients worldwide. Apart from generous investing in bitFlyer and Coinbase, MUFG signed a deal with IBM back in 2016  to develop smart contracts and automate business transactions based on blockchain modelling. The bank announced its plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, the MUFG coin, by 2019. It is also rumored to be launching its own cryptocurrency exchange to target institutional and retail investors.

According to the press release, the new payment network will be a diverse payment service, which includes functions for the transfer and management of value through blockchain, and is equipped with an interface that can be used as a communications network. This will allow for a significant reduction of transaction costs for all kinds of payment services, and could support a large expansion in transaction numbers.

“For years, the financial industry has sought to utilize blockchain to secure and hasten transaction processing and lower associated costs,” said Nobuyuki Hirano, President and Group CEO of MUFG.

The technology will be built and deployed on the Akamai Intelligent Platform. MUFG and Akamai will support the diverse payment options of the sharing economy by offering an open platform, utilizing the new blockchain’s high-speed processing and secure value transfer abilities to promote pay-per-use, micropayments, and other new IoT generation payment methods.

“This new blockchain-based online payment system, built upon our cloud platform, will be designed to address the concerns related to scalability, latency, and security that have to date hindered broader use of blockchain,” Akamai co-founder and CEO Dr Tom Leighton said.

As the companies state, the underlying blockchain architecture is expected to conduct up to 1 million transactions per second under real-world conditions. What is more, the two companies expect the technology to be improved so as to handle as much as 10 million transactions per second.

Indeed these are quite ambitious claims, especially if compared to the likes of the bitcoin blockchain, which is currently capable of processing up to 7 transactions per second, and the ethereum blockchain that processes 20 transactions per second at a maximum. Even Visa, number one payments network in the world,  is claimed to be capable of handling 24,000 transactions per second.

“We have high expectations for our partnership with Akamai to provide customers the ability to support significantly greater volumes of high-speed payment transactions without compromising the level of security required for payment networks,” states MUFG.

The network is expected to become available in Japan starting from the first half of 2020.

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