Soramitsu Joins Initiative to Build Cross-Border Payment Network Leveraging CBDCs August 8, 2023 August 8, 2023 Kelly Cromley http://1AZFjzw2#Nwf63pYaMWq#xIY
Market NewsAugust 8, 2023 by Kelly Cromley

Soramitsu Joins Initiative to Build Cross-Border Payment Network Leveraging CBDCs

Unlocking Seamless Cross-Border Payments: A Technological Endeavor

Japanese fintech innovator Soramitsu has embarked on a pioneering venture aimed at establishing a cutting-edge cross-border payment system for Asian nations. This visionary effort hinges on Cambodia’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), Bakong, which serves as the linchpin of an expanding international network poised to revolutionize the realm of cross-border transactions.

Soramitsu, an instrumental force in the fintech arena, has lent its steadfast support to the issuance and deployment of Asian CBDCs, notably the Bakong in Cambodia and Laos’ Digital Lao Kip. The Bakong has already achieved significant milestones by facilitating QR code-based digital payments between Cambodia and an array of countries including Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its prowess is further underscored by its staggering user base, boasting 8.5 million users as of the close of 2022, and an impressive transactional volume amounting to around $15 billion.

Central to Soramitsu’s mission is the realization of seamless cross-border transactions spanning India, China, and Laos, with aspirations of extending this transformative network to encompass Japan as well. The strategic blueprint entails the establishment of a Japanese exchange exclusively dedicated to stablecoins—cryptocurrencies meticulously pegged to legal tender. A hypothetical scenario elucidates this mechanism: a consumer in Thailand desiring to effectuate a QR code-based payment for a purchase from a Japanese e-commerce platform would initiate the transaction. This payment, denominated in Bakong and expressed in dollars, would then be seamlessly converted to a yen-denominated stablecoin through Soramitsu’s innovative exchange infrastructure.

An Intricate Tapestry of Efficiency and Affordability

At the core of this visionary framework lies an amalgamation of efficiency and affordability. The utilization of stablecoins not only circumvents the need to traverse existing interbank payment channels but also sidesteps the associated fees incurred through intermediary banks. This potent concoction culminates in a groundbreaking proposition—transaction fees within the stablecoin exchange realm are anticipated to be nominal, hovering in the range of a few yen per transaction. This figure pales in comparison to the standard cost of a cross-border transfer, effectively rendering the Soramitsu-backed system a paragon of cost-effectiveness.

The Architectural Foundation: Blockchain and Collaboration

The underpinnings of this groundbreaking initiative rest upon the bedrock of blockchain technology—an immutable and distributed ledger system that meticulously chronicles each transaction. The symbiotic relationship between stablecoins issued on a singular blockchain allows for seamless exchange. However, the real challenge emerges when contemplating the exchange of stablecoins originating from disparate blockchains, necessitating the orchestration of transactions across multiple blockchain platforms. To surmount this challenge, Soramitsu has embarked on a strategic partnership with Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking, along with other key collaborators, to engineer the requisite exchange infrastructure.

Japan’s Regulatory Evolution: Paving the Path for Stablecoin Adoption

In a seismic regulatory shift, Japan’s payment landscape underwent transformation in June, effectively granting banks the prerogative to issue stablecoins. Local initiatives, spearheaded by startups like JPYC and bolstered by regional banks, are poised to usher yen-denominated stablecoins into the realm of reality, with several anticipated to make their debut by the year 2024.

A Unified Pursuit of a Transcontinental Vision

To bring its cross-border payment aspirations to fruition, Soramitsu has convened a dedicated project team in partnership with Tokyo-based digital services entity Vivit and the Tama University Center for Rule-making Strategies. This unified consortium seeks to forge alliances with prominent e-commerce platforms, effectively infusing the cross-border payment network with a sense of industry-wide collaboration.

A Vision Beyond Borders: Empowering Trade and Connectivity

The overarching ambition of Soramitsu’s cross-border payment network extends beyond its technological fabric—it envisions a future where CBDCs and stablecoins serve as conduits, bridging Japanese small and midsize enterprises directly with counterparts in Southeast Asia. This audacious vision taps into the prevailing trends, particularly the region’s high smartphone penetration contrasted with relatively limited access to traditional banking infrastructure.

As the Bank for International Settlements prophetically highlighted in a 2021 report on CBDC payment trials, cross-border payments that once consumed days can now be accomplished within mere seconds. Soramitsu’s ecosystem, encompassing the Bakong and the innovative stablecoin exchange, is poised to imbue cross-border transactions with a newfound cadence, echoing the seamless swiftness as envisioned by the BIS.

In its unyielding pursuit of pioneering cross-border payment solutions, Soramitsu serves as a vanguard of innovation, poised to facilitate a transcendent evolution in the global trade landscape. Through the fusion of cutting-edge technology and collaborative prowess, Soramitsu lays the foundation for a future defined by frictionless cross-border transactions and a resounding symphony of trade connectivity.

AuthorKelly Cromley

Kelly is our in house crytpto researcher, delving into the stories which matter from blockchains being used in the real world to new ico coming out.