Japan’s Biggest Gift Card Exchange Plans to Use Blockchain for Global Expansion

Japan’s biggest gift card exchange plans to utilize blockchain to expand internationally.

According to a statement published on August 20, secondary marketplace for gift cards Amaten revealed a collaboration with the Singapore-based cloud computing startup Aelf. The exchange plans to scale its operations globally utilizing Aelf’s enterprise-oriented blockchain platform.

Established in 2012, Amaten has developed to capture 40 percent of Japan’s gift card exchange volume and takes in roughly $110 million in income yearly. On a worldwide scale, the gift card industry has swelled into a $340 billion market.

By converting gift cards to digital assets managed by Aelf’s platform, the company seeks to “revolutionize the way gift cards are issued, purchased and exchanged.”

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

Aelf’s blockchain will offer a permanent record of a gift card’s issuance and any trades of ownership, subsequently expanding the transparency of Amaten’s platform. 

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

The company also proposes that blockchain may decrease the amount of gift cards that go unspent.

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