Japanese banks are favoring the idea of launching their own cryptocurrency to be named the J-Coin, with the goal of deterring consumers away from cash.
One main institution is heading the change, Mizuho Financial Group. “The project is in the early stages, and we have just held study meetings with other institutions,” a spokesperson for the bank told CNBC on Wednesday.
“This will be pegged with Japanese Yen, and hopefully used to make payments and transfers through a mobile phone app,” the bank said.
On Tuesday, The Financial Times reported that a group of banks are involved with this new idea moving towards cryptocurrency. The J-Coin is anticipated to launch just in time for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Though, a spokesperson has reported to CNBC that there hasn’t been approval from regulators yet as the idea is still in it’s primary stages.
Over the past few months, Mizuho has been studying the details of digital currency. The bank has found a specific interest in the blockchain technology which reinforces the cryptocurrencies that are currently on the market. Blockchain a distributed recording system which vows to transform processes at large financial institutions like banks, for example money transfers and trade finance.
Mizuho had completed a trade finance transaction via a blockchain in early 2017. This trade was compiled of sending information from Japan to Australia with key documents. The key documents included the letter of credit, all being completed on a digital platform with the support of blockchain technology.
Japan’s government has also been favoring the idea of digital currency by legalizing bitcoin as a form of payment method earlier this year. Even large retailers began accepting the cryptocurrency. Cash is still used widely throughout Japan but the J-Coin could pave the way to going completely digital.