back to top

Top Page > List > Dialogue with Mr.Kato (Japan Digital Agency) Part 3 (2021.11.3 wed)

2021.11.3 wed

Dialogue with Mr.Kato (Japan Digital Agency) Part 3

(Atsuya Sugawara)In the previous sessions, you mentioned the general expectations for a new service offered by foreign companies. We, QMS International, are launching a new product, we attached Quadrans Blockchain to Peppol Access point. 

(Hiroyuki Kato)Is it necessary that Peppol (Open source) is linked to Quadrans (Open source too)? What benefit does it bring? 

(AS)That’s a sharp opinion. Indeed, I received the same question many times at the Exchange Summit. The blockchain benefits are not completely appreciated for the current 4 corner model. Right now, it is just an insurance. However, our product does not interfere the Peppol transmission layer at all, bringing advantages coming from Peer to Peer, Time stamp and mutual recognition/authentication. It means the user can be sure the transmission has been completed as it should be, the practice and the meaning of the digital signature and its certificate would be changed. In fact, a whitelist (= smart contract) can give an alternative way of KYC. The new C5 concept presented by Peppol at the Exchange Summit may be a good opportunity for our Quadrans Blockchain. It gets C5 layer operative as smooth as possible. You, Mr.Kato also made a statement of Japan’sB2B focus through the e-invoice project: Our service allows the users to add new applications and to easily adopt new regulations with a new suitable smart contract. 

(HK)At the Exchange Summit, we heard the general interest on the blockchain technology. However, all the conclusion was rather negative because of the expensive cost. What about the cost of Quadrans Blockchain? As we are now the Peppol Authority in Japan, we are quite concerned about the cost for the user, because our main task is to promote the Peppol E-Invoice as much as possible. Indeed, we expect Peppol service providers to offer their services at a reasonable cost.

(AS)Quadrans Blockchain is designed for the industry, thanks to the special algorithm which stabilizes the token value with giving low transaction fee. Therefore, our current focus is to change the market stereotypes, starting from the blockchain designed for fintech concept. Currently, we are creating as many as possible use cases regardless the size of the project. Recently, here in Japan, we have been talking about the possible usage of our blockchain for aquaculture products’ traceability and having dialogue with a system company with a strong presence in the airline reservation system and milage program. We are now planning to launch our platform for energy monitor application. This may be interesting for retail companies with a lot of owned shops across the country. 

(HK) It sounds interesting. A low transaction fee might be attractive for users. Is it already well accepted such concept of your Quadrans Blockchain in Europe? 

(AS) Yes, it is. In Europe, the biggest project on which Quadrans is involved in is called ‘TRICK’, funded by European Commission. In the latest assembly meeting of TRICK, our Peppol-Quadrans node approach was taken as a potential interest for the E-Invoice situation in Europe. In Italy, we have various regional/commune level projects. Mainly, the food traceability is chosen to guarantee good quality. In addition, automation (less paperwork) and certificates management efficiency are also targeted. Last summer, we started 2 interesting local pilot projects: one is ‘inbound’ for Ischia Island; the second consists in ‘marine products traceability with monitoring of sea condition’ for Sorrento. Both are being built on our Quadrans Blockchain.

(HK)Please, let me know more information about TRICK. 

(AS) Officially started on May 2021, it is a project for European Blockchain for a traceable and sustainable textile industry. Supply chain goods (raw materials->products -> sales) with money transactions are operated on a standardized blockchain format, including also public entities such as ADM(Excise, Customs and Monoplies Agency in Italy). 

(HK) In general, an Invoice contains information related to the “Seller”, the “Purchaser” and the“Taxable amount of the transaction”. Hence, in theory, the money transactions can be traced, it is the idea, isn’t it? 

(AS) Yes, correct. Also at the Exchange Summit, it was claimed ‘e-invoice’ is just a tool to start, further integrations can be expected, thanks to the same‘Peppol format’ shared by different countries and companies, such as an e-audit, supply chain, or other business opportunities. 

(HK) It can say that Japan e-Invoice can be easily upgraded in future, if the right blockchain technology will be correctly integrated. To be honest, it still seems a very long way off…I would like to insist again that our first task is to promote the use of B2B tax compliant E-Invoice. Therefore, it is often said that “Simplicity” is the shortest way to reach the goal. 

 (AS) It does seem a long way off. However not necessarily true. We believe that Japan will become a pioneer in the world digitalization trends including a blockchain approach in the list of digital solutions. Going back to the E-Invoice, if both parties are on the blockchain, the digital signature is no longer needed. Blockchain offers a KYC alternative, with a issuers whitelist. All are coming from blockchain’s features, adding adequate smart contracts for an easy integration and implementation.

(HK)I’ve heard Peppol certified Service Providers would be required to identify their end users more strictly. I am personally concerned about it since Japanese venders don’t take it seriously. It is very important that overseas businesses give good influences on the Japanese market bringing new opportunities for our digital transformation. Mostly, it is considered as the ‘Kurofune’ (=Perry’s expedition’ with black boats, 1853) by our local businesses. Even so, I wish you and all oversea business good success in Japan with smart and creative approaches to invigorate our market. 

(AS) Thank you very much for the interesting discussion today!