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SBI to start testing its own crypto token

Japanese financial giant SBI Group will start testing cashless mobile payments as part of a trial of its own crypto token, industry website Coindesk has reported.

The company’s investment arm, SBI Holdings, announced earlier today that it was about to start a proof-of-concept trial of a crypto token dubbed ‘S’ coin. According to SBI’s blockchain lead Mamoru Fujimoto and the company’s president Yoshitaka Kitao, the token will enable charging and settlement over users' smartphones.

As part of the trial, SBI employees would be using the company’s proprietary S Coin Platform to make purchases at cafes and restaurants around the firm's headquarters in Tokyo. The participants in the trial will be able to acquire the tokens via a machine from automated cash devices provider Glory, which will be linked to the S Coin Platform.

"By doing this, we exchange cash with various electronic currencies and verify whether we can meet the needs of various users envisioned. After that, we will promote consideration of electronic currency settlement, such as enabling settlement with Glory's products,” SBI said in the press release, as quoted by Coindesk.

SBI Holdings has shown that it has significant interest in the crypto and blockchain space. The company has established a joint venture with San Francisco-based crypto start-up Ripple, whose purpose is to promote Ripple’s DLT-based cross-border payment solutions to financial institutions across Asia. The joint venture, SBI Ripple Asia, in March unveiled a payments mobile application powered by Ripple’s tech. And in June, SBI Holdings launched its own crypto exchange with initial focus on Ripple’s native token.

Notably, to create the S Coin Platform, SBI used distributed ledger technology from another tech start-up – Orb.

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