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Hitachi, KDDI Trial Blockchain-based Retail Coupon Settlement

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Japanese technology giants Hitachi, Ltd. and KDDI Corp. are collaborating in trialing a blockchain-based system for coupon settlement using Hitachi's Finger Vein Authentication Technology after the biometric information is stored on a secure blockchain.

The trial will integrate Hitachi's blockchain-based Public Biometrics Infrastructure (PBI) technology, powered by The Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Fabric and KDDI's existing retail coupon system.

The two companies are conducting a demonstration experiment of coupon settlement system combining blockchains and biometric ID authentication with the help of staff from the two companies as well as a local donut shop Mr. Donuts.

The system encrypts the collected biometric data and automatically generates a digital signature based on a public key cryptosystem, with low risk of theft and leakage as a secret key.

The user can authenticate a transaction by holding the finger registered on the authentication infrastructure while not needing to also physically produce the retail coupon as it is already stored in the system along with the biometric data on blockchain.

Since the coupon usage information is recorded on the blockchain, it is extremely difficult to tamper with, and easy to share coupon usage history, securing reliability between KDDI and affiliated stores.

Finger vein recognition is a method of biometric authentication that uses pattern-recognition techniques based on images of human finger vein patterns beneath the skin's surface. It matches the vascular pattern in an individual's finger to previously obtained biometric data. Hitachi developed and patented a finger vein ID system in 2005.

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