Japan to launch a J-Coin cryptocurrency

The Japanese banks consortium headed by Mizuho Financial Group and Japan Post Bank plans to launch a national digital currency
26 September 2017   1616

The Japanese banks consortium headed by Mizuho Financial Group and Japan Post Bank plans to launch a national digital currency, as reported by ft.com.

The Japanese authorities and the central bank are claimed to support the project aimed at developing a solution that will allow citizens to pay for goods and services using smartphones. It is expected that a new crypt currency called J-Coin will be released before the start of the Summer Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo.

Thus, as reported, 70% of all payments in Japan are made in cash. For banks and government, such dependence entails additional costs, e.g. financial institutions are forced to bear the extra costs associated with transportation, collection and audit of large amounts of cash. 

I think this electronic money is quite ahead of [credit and debit] cards, because when you use the cards the shops pay a certain fee.
 

Yasuhiro Sato
Mizuho Financial Group president and chief executive officer 

The consortium of banks has calculated that, thanks to the new cryptocurrency, Japan's economy will be able to receive at least 10 billion yen ($90 million) additionally. In this case, the rate of the digital currency J-Coin will be tightly tied to the rate of the Japanese yen in the ratio of 1: 1.

It's also worth mentioning, that a bit earlier the Japanese Mizuho Financial Group has also teamed up with tech conglomerate Hitachi in order to use blockchain platform for supply chain management.

Ethereum Scaling Solution Raiden to Launch Last Testnet

As noted by the developers, after implementing the new solution, the Ethereum network will be able to provide more than a million transactions per second
20 July 2018   132

On Thursday, July 19, at the Dappcon developer conference in Berlin, the last test network of Raiden for the Ethereum blockchain was launched, CoinDesk reports.

The release includes a minimal implementation of the scaling solution, which will allow the transfer of Ethereum tokens outside of the main blockchain. This is the last test phase before the introduction of technology into the core network of Ethereum.

It's the first step towards going to the mainnet. We really want people to really test this so we have a user interface, we have an API and we've created an open Github for everything they could find, so if we go hopefully bug-free on the mainnet.
 

Lefteris Karapetsas

Core Developer, Raiden

According to him, the new release represents an early implementation for the core network and contains a new rewritten code of smart contracts and payment channels that can be restored in case of unintended closure.

Also, Karapetsas urged developers to join the test network to help detect possible bugs, adding that a bounty program will be launched to encourage this activity.

The release date for the main network has not yet been assigned, but the developers intend to follow this earlier promise and launch Raiden this summer.

Karapetsas also promised to publish regular updates and code optimizations after the full release, adding that Raiden will complement other Ethereum scaling solutions that are currently being developed.

Raiden is essentially the payment channel network for ethereum, it's supposed to help us scale token transfers. The long term goal would be to have people use Raiden from a mobile device and be able to make off-chain token transfers just from their phone. That would be the long term vision, it would probably work in combination with various scaling solutions, sharding, plasma, a sort of hybrid.
 

Lefteris Karapetsas

Core Developer, Raiden

Raiden is developing from the 2015 and is written mostly on Python. The project is much like the Lightning Network. As noted by the developers, after implementing the new solution, the Ethereum network will be able to provide more than a million transactions per second.