Active trend to issue local gift certificates using blockchain technology in Japan


On June 18, SBI Holdings (securities code: 8473) announced that it had started providing services for digitalizing FY2020 premium local gift certificates issued by the Ukiha City Society of Commerce and Industry, Fukuoka Prefecture.


When digitizing premium gift certificates, Kyushu Electric Power (securities code: 9508) provides a system platform to Chikuho Bank to help it digitize gift certificates issued by the Ukiha City Society of Commerce and Industry. Using blockchain technology, SBI electronically issues a portion of the amount of the premium gift certificates issued in paper.


SBI Holdings stated that it will revitalize regional economies as they adapt to a post-coronavirus society and increase user convenience. It also declared that it aims to reduce burdens related to the issuance of paper-based local gift certificates, accelerate the use of member stores based on usage data, and visualize the circular flow of the economy.


SBI is said that it will engage in regional revitalization using blockchain technology in cooperation with individual companies.


This type of activity using tokens aimed at revitalizing regional economies has been tried throughout Japan. Gifu Prefecture has issued Sarubobo Coin, a cryptocurrency named after the prefecture’s popular mascot, while Kamakura, a popular tourist destination, has issued the community currency “Machi no Coin” to facilitate activities related to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These activities could accelerate in local cities in Japan after the coronavirus pandemic.


*This article was written by FISCO.