Dubbed the MUFG Coin, the token will be tethered to the Japanese Yen. MUFG, being the largest bank in Japan and the fifth largest in the world, plans to use blockchain technology to bring speed and efficiency to its process and currency transmission between its branches.
With the use of MUFG Coin, the bank will be the first Japanese bank that will rely on a blockchain based digital asset that will be pegged to the Yen.
The announcementwas made by Kanetsugu Mike, the MUFG president, during an interview with a local media outlet, Asahi Shimbun.
“I would like to offer unprecedented new value,” said the president, introducing the stablecoin.
The stablecoin, according to Kanetsugu Mike, has gone through a testing phase where nearly 1,500 employees have constantly tested the coin and its effectiveness since 2017. With the launch of the stablecoin, bank users will be able to seamlessly convert their holding into the coin by downloading a dedicated app.
[Users] will be able to use the currency to make payments at places like restaurants, convenience stores and other shops,” said the president, “[and] transfer the currency to other participants’ accounts.
Although the exact date of launch of the coin is not given, the bank estimates nearly 100,000 account users will test the product.
Japanese Banks and Cryptocurrency
Japanese banks have shown an interest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies from the start. In December, last year, another Japanese bank had announcedthat it will be issuing its own stablecoin, called the J-Coin. Although it said it will launch the coin in March this year, it has not done so. If it does not launch it within the next two quarters, MUFG will beat it to being the first.
Innovative payment processers in Japan are also using or have plans to use cryptocurrency and blockchain. Rakuten has also announcedit will be launching its own crypto exchange. Line, a famous chat app, has already its in-house cryptocurrency.