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Japan's Amaten, Aelf to revolutionize gift card market using blockchain

Wed, 21 Aug 2019, 09:02 am UTC

Japan’s biggest gift card exchange Amaten is planning to use blockchain to issue tokenized gift cards as it plans to revamp the traditional gift card system.

As per a press release, Amaten plans to convert gift cards into digital assets managed using Aelf’s enterprise-oriented blockchain platform. The company aims to revitalize the methods for issuing, purchasing, and exchanging gift cards, which is currently worth $340 billion globally.

The current system and technology used for gift card[s] is completely obsolete and dates all the way back to the mid 90s. It suffers from basic fundamental shortcomings and is very inconvenient. I believe that the gift card industry can be a perfect use case for blockchain,” Tom Kanazawa, Amaten Chairman, said.

Under the partnership, Amaten will build its blockchain framework on top of aelf, which will provide an immutable record of a gift card’s issuance and any exchanges of ownership, thus increasing transparency and traceability. Amaten also noted that using blockchain can decrease the amount of unused gift cards.

We have chosen to partner with… Aelf, because they offer scalability, dedicated sidechains and smart contract modules that we very much need to build our service rapidly and most cost effectively,” Kanazawa said.

Amaten believes that this blockchain-based project will help it to scale its operations not only in Japan but also internationally. The company initially wants to expand to Korean and Chinese markets.

U.K. news outlet Verdict noted that the latest move will not only position Amaten as a significant player in the industry but also to provide the first reputable technological advancements in the gift card market in more than 20 years.

Through the partnership with Amaten, we are hoping to pioneer the adoption of blockchain solutions within the traditional industries,” Zhuling Chen, Aelf’s Co-Founder and COO, said.

Just recently, Korean Prepaid Card has invested in Singapore-based Bezant, in a bid to introduce new products and services to cater to the global payments market. Korean Prepaid Market, which is the leader in the country’s $10 billion prepaid industry, offers integrated solutions to “issue prepaid cards, distribute/top-up, and offer payments/settlements” for various prepaid payment methods, including gift cards and vouchers.

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