In a report from Bloomberg on November 20th, a Japanese shipping company by the name of Nippon Yusen K.K. is providing their crew members with something new. This new option will involve the launch of digital currency that is specifically designed for their crew members. This shipping company has been around since 1885 and is the largest shippingline (based on sales) that Japan has. In time from April 1st to September 30th this year, the revenue was 915.6 billion yen.
Some sources close to the company said that the point of bringing in the digital currency to make it easier to send and convert money into the local currency of the worker. According to reports, this digital currency will directly be tied to USD, which means that there will be a lowered risk for changing value. However, based on the details provided by Bloomberg, there is no sign of whether the company plans to cryptocurrency or blockchain technology.
Based on the details offered by anonymous sources, the company is working with multiple companies to make sure that their proposed currency will work during the conversion. So far, with the use of telecommunications on the ship, they have been able to successfully complete multiple tests, though they are presently seeking out a patent for their new technology.
Apparently, the plan is to bring in this digital currency option by the first half of next year, though the company plans to use smartphones in the meantime. The company is going to be using the digital currency to pay their own workers and offer the chance for other shipping operators to do the same.
Shipping and port authorities worldwide have already seen the appeal that blockchain technology already. In this month alone, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by nine terminal operators and shipping companies to work on a digital platform involving distributed ledger technology. This platform will “allow shippers to digitize and organize their dangerous goods documents and automatically connect with relevant parties to streamline the approval process.”
The largest port of Europe, the Port of Rotterdam, decided to test blockchain for shipping in October with ABN AMRO and Samsung’s IT subsidiary. Participants in the blockchain trial believe that shipping time will be reduced and that financial transactions would make financial transactions easier.