The consortium of Japanese banks, headed by Mizuho Financial Group and Japan Post Bank, plans to launch a national digital currency, an electronic currency to pay for goods and transfer money using smartphones, reports the Financial Times.
The J Coin would be convertible into yen on a one-to-one basis, operating via a smartphone app and using QR codes to be scanned in stores, says the business daily. In return for providing the service for free, the banks would benefit by collecting more data on consumer spending patterns.
“I think this electronic money is quite ahead of [credit and debit] cards, because when you use the cards the shops pay a certain fee,” Yasuhiro Sato, president and chief executive officer of Mizuho Financial Group, told the FT.
Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ last year confirmed reports that it is working on plans to create its own digital currency, MUFG Coin, which will be downloaded to smartphones and used for P2P funds transfers and for online shopping.
According to the FT, there have been recent discussions between the top banks about the possibility of MUFG joining the J Coin initiative.
The consortium of banks has calculated that thanks to the new cryptocurrency, Japan’s economy will be able to receive at least ¥10bn ($ 90 million) additionally. In this case, the rate of the digital currency J-Coin will be tightly tied to the rate of the Japanese yen in the ratio of 1: 1
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