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Correction: SoftBank denies issuing new debit card featuring built-in blockchain wallet

Yilun Cheng

CORRECTION (December 4, 8:17 AM EST): A previous version of this story cited a press release published on PR Newswire and cited by several news outlets that said SoftBank has issued a new debit card with blockchain wallets. This press release has been confirmed by SoftBank to be forged. 

"Regarding the PR Newswire article, while we are still confirming how, why, and from whom this was sent out, it is NOT sent from SoftBank Corp. Therefore, it is NOT an official announcement by SoftBank Corp. We are not aware of anything written on this article," a SoftBank spokesperson wrote in an email to The Block. 

PR Newswire has retracted the press release but a copy of the original statement can be found here

Tokyo-based telecommunications conglomerate SoftBank has released a new bank card that includes a built-in blockchain wallet, in addition to traditional debit card functions.

SoftBank already issues prepaid Visa cards. According to SoftBank’s press release, the newly released product, called SBC Wallet Cards, features a blockchain wallet with both hot and cold functions, and allows customers to access their balances in real-time. The new card also eliminates the time for block confirmation, which lets users pay with and redeem their assets in a timely manner. Users can switch between fiat and cryptocurrency by simply pressing a button on the SBC Wallet Cards app, says the press release. 

"We are not doing simple cards, but are creating a flexible and faster life of the application scene and the future of payment integration,” said an unnamed Softbank SBC Project Leader. “The SBC we built does not close to other encryption cards. You'll know the black technology only after you used it.”

SoftBank has collaborated with blockchain initiatives across continents. In April, it announced its plan to invested over $1 billion in German payment company Wirecard to support its expansion into the Japanese and South Korean markets. In November, it joined Chinese investors including Meituan-Dianping and GaoRong in a Series B funding round of digital payments firm OPay.