Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), which is the fourth largest bank in the world, is planning to launch its own digital currency — MUFG coin — later this year.
According to a local news publication Mainichi.jp, MUFG may be the first bank in the country to take this (bold) step. The report goes on to suggest that MUFG had plans to develop a cryptocurrency since 2016, and now it’s all about selecting the “right” launch date.
Said MUFG coin will be based on blockchain technology, enabling users to conduct instant person-to-person transactions as well as shop with lower fees.
Volatility could be the problem, and so the bank will be processing transactions from its own cryptocurrency network, and peg one MUFG coin to one Japanese yen.
Not the only such effort in Japan
Previously we have talked about J-Coin, which was envisioned as part of the plan to eliminate cash as a payment option and hit the market before the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
We are still clueless whether this idea is still on radar, but before we have heard J-Coin was not designed to replace the Japanese Yen; rather, its creators envision it working in tandem with the fiat currency. However, J-Coin would be exchanged at a one-to-one ratio, and most importantly — it would enable regulators to actually track transactions, which is hard to do in the currently dominant cash-based society.
As we have mentioned, cash is still the king in the Land of the rising Sun, but tech-savvy locals are willing to embrace novelties; the fact that made Japan one of the largest markets for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
And so we were not surprised when we’ve learned that a small village plans to use an initial coin offering (ICO) to fund local infrastructure projects. That village is Nishiawakura in Okayama Prefecture, and it was planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign to boost its economy. We have yet to hear how that went.
We have also reported about the city of Tokyo’s efforts to establish itself as one of the world’s most friendly blockchain and fintech hubs; and to that end, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) has organized the “Blockchain Business Camp Tokyo” accelerator program for foreign companies dealing with advanced blockchain technology in such areas as transactions, securities, IoT, supply chains and the sharing economy. The TMG aims for this intensive two-month program to generate “groundbreaking innovation.”
Meanwhile, we will be keeping our eyes open to all the wonderful crypto-related news coming from Japan. Those folks know how to accept new technology the moment it’s up and running, and it’s a pleasure to talk about them. 😉