Japanese telecommunications conglomerate KDDI Corporation has joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance.
KDDI, which is ranked number 219 on the Fortune Global 500 list, also revealed it is working with Japanese startup Couger on a smart contracts proof-of-concept built using technology developed through the enterprise-focused ethereum consortium. KDDI's work with blockchain will also see it partnering with blockchain startup Trident-Arts and legal tech firm Kentauros Works.
The telco is the latest major corporation to join the Alliance, which launched in February with the backing of companies like BP, JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft, among others.
In particular, KDDI indicated that it plans to test how blockchain-based smart contracts - self-executing pieces of code triggered when certain conditions are met - can be used for facilitating payments between companies.
The firm explained:
"This proof-of-concept will extend beyond blockchains utilized by existing business and will validate business and technical issues and benefits for (a) Open services built on platforms such as the Ethereum and includes non-financial interactions, and (b) Smart Contracts for coordination with partner company services."
Testing will also include possible applications for mobile phone repair services. A smart contract will be used to determine how much the phone would cost to repair, how much the phone costs on the used market and whether there are any other factors that would be accounted for in the cost.
KDDI further plans to explore how artificial intelligence and connected devices (IoT), among other technologies, could aid in the development of a "next generation service platform," according to the press release.
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