The initiative will bring real-world utility to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in Japan, enabling the railway operator to strengthen its customer relationship
Kyushu Railway Company (JR Kyushu), part of Japan’s largest rail network, the Japan Railway Group, today announced that it will issue NFTs on top of the Astar Network, the smart contract platform for multichain, in collaboration with P.R.O. Co., Ltd.
By distributing NFTs to its users, JR Kyushu aims to create new touch points with its users and enhance its existing relationship with its customers.
The JR Kyushu NFT project will kick off in July 2023, providing riders with new ways to enjoy Kyushu while maintaining a holistic track record of their travel experience.
As a first proof-of-concept, JR Kyushu and PRO will distribute a free NFT during the Blockchain Expo in Tokyo from May 10 to 12, displaying the new Nishi Kyushu Shinkansen.
As part of Japan’s largest railway network, JR Kyushu runs intercity rail services in the country’s third largest island Kyushu. It is also engaged in freight services, bus transportation, hospitality, and other related services. JR Kyushu serves more than 330m people a year.
The collaboration will bring real-world utility to non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in Japan. While NFTs are often used for trading and digital art, JR Kyushu aims to leverage the technology to provide visitors with memorabilia and proof of visiting, riding, and using their system.
Astar Network Founder Sota Watanabe said:
“At Astar Network, we’re excited to see more real-life use cases of enterprises exploring and leveraging NFTs to build closer relationships with their customers and provide new value. We look forward to supporting PRO Japan and JR Kyushu in their endeavor.”
The railway operator chose Japan’s first public blockchain Astar Network for its low fees, high scalability, and the team’s deep understanding of the Japanese market.
Astar is at the forefront of the NFT craze that’s sweeping across Japan as dozens of leading brands embrace the possibilities of web3.
In the past, Japan’s leading corporations including Toyota Motor Corporation and Sony Network Communications have worked with Astar Network to explore the opportunities in web3.
Once the project launches in July, riders will be able to purchase commemorative NFTs or obtain them through the usage of the railway system. Depending on the NFTs held, riders might qualify for further benefits and access to limited NFTs. Users will be able to purchase NFTs using the Japanese yen.
Astar Network is a leading layer-1 in Japan, having been voted the most popular blockchain in the country by the Japanese Blockchain Association.
It is also the first public blockchain from the country to be listed there despite Japan’s strict listing regulations. Astar’s native token ASTR is registered as a cryptocurrency, not a security, by the Japanese government.
About Astar Network
Astar is a smart contract platform, supporting both EVM and WebAssembly (WASM) environments, and interoperability between them using a Cross-Virtual Machine. Developers of all levels can code on the platform, using tools and programming languages they already know.
Backed by the shared security of Polkadot, Astar has a vibrant and healthy ecosystem. The blockchain is driving international corporate adoption and consumer interest in web3 technologies.
Astar’s Build2Earn program aims to grow the network while simultaneously rewarding participants and builders.
It allows developers to earn incentives for building and maintaining their decentralized applications. Users can earn incentives for supporting their favorite projects all while encouraging growth of the ecosystem overall.