Toyota Motor Corporation headquarters in Auckland City
Toyota Motor Corporation headquarters in Auckland City, photographed on October 19, 2018. Shutterstock

One of the largest car manufacturers in the world, the Toyota Motor Corporation, has been experimenting with blockchain and digital currency technologies, the firm said in a press release on 26 October.

According to the announcement, the IT subsidiary of the firm, Toyota Systems, has been collaborating with Japanese crypto exchange DeCurret in order to create a branded Toyota digital currency. A large scale pilot of the cryptocurrency is already being conducted, with its aim being to test the scalability and business challenges that could be related to payments to a large group of people.

Toyota’s experiment will initially revolve around payments for welfare benefits, which will be distributed between the 2,500 Toyota Systems employees that will participate in the trial. While the digital currency cannot be exchanged for Japanese yen, it can either be traded for benefits points or exchanged for gifts from a catalog created explicitly for the crypto trial. It is believed that once the experiment is over, Toyota will use its cryptocurrency to run another trial, this time within its supply chain and for business-to-business transactions.

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The current pilot uses DeCurret’s proprietary blockchain-based platform for issuing and managing digital currencies. This is not the first time that DeCurret, which has over $50 million in capital, has helped another firm with running a branded digital currency experiment. Earlier this year, the firm ran similar trials for Daido Life and Kansai Electric Power.

The car manufacturer saw the potential of blockchain technology early on, and in 2016 joined the R3 blockchain consortium, a major industry alliance. The firm has since been exploring the blockchain space, and in April 2019 established its own Toyota Blockchain Lab, which had the goal of examining the potential of blockchain technology, and accelerating business implementation.

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