Japan’s Leading Shipping Line Set to Launch its Own Digital Currency

Japanese shipping line powerhouse, Nippon Yusen K.K. (NYK) is reportedly about to add to the digital world by launching its very own digital currency.

The company owns and operates about 800 ships, along with around 20 to 23 crew members on board each of those ships. As of now the majority of the crew members’ salaries are paid in the traditional cash or the amount is transferred to their bank accounts. This cumbersome process costs the shipping company between $40,000 and $60,000 in order to meet the salary requirements and other miscellaneous cash expenses. That seems to be a rather convincing reason behind the crypto step that the company is taking.

Paying the Employees in Digital Currency

Yusen offers employment to over thirty thousand people globally, hence most of the crew on board hails from different countries. By taking the step to pay the employees in digital currency, the company simplifies the process of managing, sending, and converting money into marine workers’ local currencies. In addition to paying their own workers, the company is also looking to offer the currency to other shipping operators.

The currency will be tethered to the U.S. dollars to help avoiding serious changes in value. However, so far it remains unclear whether the currency will be powered by blockchain technology or will it be a cryptocurrency adaption.

Word on the street is, that the company is working in alliance with banks and software development companies to ensure that the currency will be easily convertible into local currencies. Moreover, reportedly they have already piloted successful tests using shipboard telecommunications and are now on the look out for a patent for the technology.

Yusen will apparently introduce its digital currency to the world in the first half of 2019, with the assumption of the use of smartphones, which is highly likely.

Blockchain Tech & The Shipping Industry

Shipping and port authorities from all over the world have started embracing the potential of blockchain technology. In was only earlier this month that nine of the major terminal operators and shipping companies came together to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), in order to launch an open digital platform that would be based on distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The purpose of this platform will be to help the shippers digitize and organize the documents of hazardous goods and automatically connect with relevant parties in order to streamline the approval process.

Moreover, earlier in October, Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, struck a partnership with a key Dutch bank, ABN AMRO and also the IT subsidiary of Samsung for the purpose of testing blockchain technology for shipping. The technology is expected to help in reducing shipping time along with simplifying financial transactions.

For more updates, stay tuned BlockPublisher.

Abeer Anwaar

Abeer holds a Bachelors degree in Media studies and covers blockchain startups for BlockPublisher. An optimist, excels in the art of the written word and swears by the joy of all things sweet. Contact the editor at editor.startups@blockpublisher.com

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