Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Ends Blockchain Payment Network Plan

Slow growth in transaction numbers caused by COVID-19 made it difficult to expand the business at the pace originally planned.

Feb 23, 2022 at 2:45 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 24, 2022 at 6:07 p.m. UTC

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), one of Japan's largest financial institutions, said it will suspend its high-speed blockchain payment network venture, GO-NET Japan, and close down the business.

  • Slow growth in the number of transactions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult to expand the business at the pace originally planned, MUFG said Wednesday.
  • Furthermore, the network struggled to find a fit in the internet-of-things (IoT) market, which it planned to incorporate.
  • "As a result, the business is not expected to be able to achieve profitability in a reasonable time frame," MUFG said. "GO-NET Japan will suspend operations and liquidation procedures of GO-NET and GO-NET Japan will proceed thereafter."
  • The Global Open Network (GO-NET) venture with Cambridge, Mass.-based tech firm Akamai was announced in November 2020 with the aim of providing cheaper, more efficient payment services. GO-NET said the platform could handle 100,000 transactions per second and could be expanded to reach as high as 10 million per second for small payments.
  • This news doesn't signal the end MUFG's activity in the blockchain and digital currency industries. Its trust banking arm earlier this month announced plans to issue a stablecoin pegged to the yen as a means of payment to enable instant settlement of security transactions.
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Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

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