Japanese Shipping Line Develops Digital Cash for Crew

Nippon Yusen K.K., Japan’s largest shipping line by sales, is introducing its own digital currency for crew members, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Nippon Yusen K.K., Japan’s largest shipping line by sales, is introducing its own digital currency for crew members, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The goal is to make it easier for seafaring workers to manage, send and convert money into their local currencies, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plan isn’t public yet. The shipper is developing its own digital cash, pegged to the U.S. dollar to avoid wild swings in value. It wasn’t clear whether it would use blockchain, or be a cryptocurrency variant.

Most sea crew are usually paid in cash or have their pay transferred into a bank account. Because they hail from multiple nations and often have to move money from one country to another, digital cash offers the possibility of making it easier for them to track and spend their incomes. Yusen’s initiative, which will use smartphones, is on track to debut in the first half of 2019, the people said.

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