A report published by Finance Magnate on December 26, 2018 reveals that the second largest bank in Japan Mizuho Financial Group is primed to launch its own yen-pegged cryptocurrency in March 2019. 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 a Japanese megabanks.
The cryptocurrency being introduced by Mizuho will have parity with the Japanese yen and can be used to make and receive payments through a mobile phone app. The cryptocurrency will facilitate feeless transactions in the sense that users won’t have to pay any fee while transferring the digital currency between their bank accounts and smartphones. In exchange for facilitating feeless transactions, the banks would benefit by collecting more refined and accurate data on consumer spending behavior.
According to Nikkei, the yet-to-be-named digital currency will be rolled out to regional banks and retail shops. Shops using the cryptocurrency will be charged fees significantly lower compared to that of credit card services.
Interestingly, Mizuho’s coin will be a stablecoin, which means that it will be pegged to the Japanese national currency on a one-to-one ratio. It will not be subject to market fluctuations like other cryptocurrencies like as Bitcoin. The currency’s mobile app will scan QR codes in stores to make the payment. Reportedly, the banking group has taken the digital currencies route to promote cashless payments in the country. The group has plans to get close to sixty regional banks on board.