Japanese holding company SoftBank has released a digital currency payment card which can be used for both fiat and digital assets.
In a press release published yesterday, the multinational conglomerate – which has holdings in Uber and Alibaba – said the new ‘SoftBank Card’, or ‘SBC Wallet Card’, will allow users to store and spend a range of digital assets.
The card will be initially available in Japanese markets and will allow users to spend their digital assets with 10,000 merchants across Japan.
SoftBank states that the SBC card will “improve the shortcomings of traditional wallets by providing better security and access”.
A card for the digital age
SoftBank isn’t planning on launching another standard plastic debit card.
Instead, the new SBC cards will feature a paper-thin smart LED screen which shows users their balance in real time, powered by a revolutionary micro-battery which can last for up to three years.
Although SoftBank hasn’t revealed which digital currencies it will be supporting from launch, SBC card holders can use the card as a hot or cold cryptocurrency wallet, with a built in WiFi receiver to connect the card’s hot wallet functionality.
Once the wallet is disconnected, it serves as cold storage much like a traditional Trezor or Ledger wallet. At the same time, users will be able to link the card with their bank accounts in order to spend fiat.
The card will also have its own dedicated mobile app, which will let users switch between fiat and cryptocurrency payments easily.
SoftBank has shown enthusiasm for blockchain technology before, building a peer-to-peer payments platform in September 2018 to allow users to make fiat payments via a mobile blockchain network.
With such a large sphere of influence, SoftBank’s new SBI card could catapult the utility of multiple digital assets at a time where other companies, such as Facebook, are looking to issue their own proprietary and siloed digital currencies.