The tech giant Hitachi and the telecommunication provider KDDI have been doing tests and trials for a retail coupon settlement system that uses biometrics with blockchain. There have been presentations by the joint staff at the KDDI store in Tokyo and in a local shop.

A Hyperledger Fabric based Hitachi platform combined with biometric verification and the retail coupon system offered by KDDI has been the base of the trial. Anyone who wants to participate in the trial should first register their biometric data coupon credits at a KDDI store and then continue to a local store that has a fingerprint reader that will be used for verification and validation of their purchase.

The biometric data that users provide are all encrypted and recorded on a blockchain and selected retailers will have the ability to participate in the network as nodes that will scan consumer fingerprints that will settle a transaction request.

Biometrics and blockchain integration have been circulating as an idea for some time now as many influential people have outlined their positive benefits. But there are some that don’t agree with the implementation of these two like the crypto veteran and security expert Andreas M. Antonopoulos who has stated:

“By embedding into a blockchain, the irrevocability of biometrics is added to the immutability of a blockchain which makes dealing with compromised biometrics even more difficult. [Moreover], while biometric registration may not reduce anonymity directly, it can be used to enhance statistical analysis of activity, so that the leak of a single identifier can destroy all privacy.”