Japan’s biggest container line, Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) has announced plans to launch a cryptocurrency to make paying crew members quicker and easier.
According to a statement, NYK’s proposed plan is part of its ‘Staying Ahead 2022 with Digitalization and Green’ plan, a five-year plan to develop a digital and eco-friendly business structure.
The company has said it has conducted tests to see how much administrative work could be saved if it were to introduce a digital coin.
If successful, the move could see NYK going entirely cashless, which the company says will create a more productive work environment, with crew members having more time to concentrate on vessel operations.
The 'cashless ship' Credit: NYK
Currently, crew members are given a part of their salaries in cash, and the purchase of all daily goods on-board are made in cash.
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The captain must oversee every payment and crew members must pay remittance charges to send funds to family members in home countries.
NYK estimates that total cash on company ships amounts to $800 million a year, and costs relating to handling cash are “very high”.
By using a cryptocurrency, it says, payments onboard and on-land can be made in even unstable communication environments.
In a statement, NYK said: “Many issues remain to be addressed before a cashless ship can be realized, but NYK is forging ahead to construct a viable system by cooperating with various sources and improving operational issues for commercialization.
“Based on the NYK Group’s mission of “Bringing value to life,” NYK will look to develop this e-money network for the benefit of seafarers who work around the world and their local communities.”