Mizuho Financial has announced it is seeking to develop a blockchain application for internal recordkeeping.
The move, according to Mizuho, marks the "beginning of a strategic program" that will find the Japan-based financial services firm working with IT consulting firm Cognizant to leverage the technology to cut costs and improve its internal processes.
As part of the deal, Cognizant will develop the blockchain solution, with the goal of enabling companies within the Mizuho group to sign and exchange sensitive documents with greater security and transparency. The project will initially focus on connecting offices in New York and Tokyo, though the company has subsidiaries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas.
Toshitsugu Okabe, deputy president and executive officer of Mizuho Financial Group, said in a statement:
"We are pleased to be among the early adopters of blockchain technology in Japan to make our processes and workflows faster and more efficient.”
The announcement is notable given the past issues the Japanese bank has experienced in connection with the industry.
For example, Mizuho previously operated as a banker partner for now-defunct bitcoin exchange Mt Gox, which famously lost millions in customer funds in 2014, ensnaring the firm in subsequent, and still ongoing lawsuits.