Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group plans to introduce a proprietary digital currency with the support of 60 regional domestic banks. The asset will be introduced for shopping and remitted at no cost, starting March 2019.
According to the Nikkei Asian review, merchants who support acceptance of the coin will be charged fees significantly lower than for credit card payments in a bid to spur adoption and uptake.
|Trade Name||Mizuho Bank, Ltd. (MHBK)|
|Date of Establishment||July 1, 2013|
|Capital||JPY 1,404.0 billion|
|Location of Head Office||1-5-5, Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8176, Japan
|Representative||Koji Fujiwara, President & CEO|
|Number of Employees||30,301|
|Domestic Network||465 (As of Jun 30, 2018)|
|Overseas Network||89 (As of Jun 30, 2018)|
Support of 60 regional Domestic Banks
According to the source the banking group aims to promote cashless payments by bringing about 60 regional banks on board.
The digital currency is the result of the J-Coin project announced in 2017 by Mizuho Financial Group Chairman Yasuhiro Sato, who was president and CEO at the time. It will become the first of its kind operated by Japanese megabanks.
Much like the J Coin, the proprietary currency is pegged 1:1 to the Japanese Yen, can be downloaded to smartphones and used for P2P funds transfers and for online shopping. The value of the digital currency will be fixed at 1 yen per unit, and will not fluctuate on the market, as virtual currencies such as bitcoin do.
The flurry of activity comes as Japanese banks seek to cash in on the local population’s love affair with alternative cryptocurrencies and fight off the threat from Chinese dragons like Alibaba and Tencent.
Not the Only Bank
Mizuho is not the only Japanese bank experimenting with its own currency. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is also planning trials of its own MUFG Coin with around 100,000 account holders in Tokyo. Moreover, MUFG and Bradesco Banks will utilize Ripple for payments between Japan and Brazil.
More on top, Sweden’s central bank, Riksbank, declared that it intends to engage in testing a digital currency, which is known as e-krona. The country is known to have friendly atmosphere towards the emerging asset class despite ambiguity in the sector.