100 Japanese manufacturers to use blockchain to cut costs

100 manufacturers in Japan, including Mitsubishi Electric and Yaskawa Electric, are set to use blockchain technology to cut operating costs and improve performance, the Nikkei Asian Review reported Monday.

The firms are expected to "securely" share production data among themselves through a shared digital ledger; including information about product design, production equipment and quality inspections. The report notes that, for example, if an electronics manufacturer computes data about equipment usage, the parts suppliers can then adjust their production and arrange materials faster.

The project is expected to start "next spring," Nikkei said. Participants will also be able to control "how much data to share, whether to share it with one or more companies, as well as whether to charge a fee for the information."

The initiative will reportedly be supervised by an enterprise forum called the Industrial Value Chain Initiative.