Is Japan Entering the Central Bank Digital Currency Space Too?

Bitcoinist January 25, 2020
Updated 2020/01/25 at 12:44 PM
5 Min Read

Recent reports indicate that Japan might be moving towards launching its own CBDC, although uncertainty remains high due to reports that deny the decision.

Japanese lawmakers might be moving in on the crypto space

Ever since Facebook confirmed the rumors that it plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, lawmakers, regulators, and central banks around the world started taking the crypto sector a lot more seriously. While some were in a hurry to try and come up with rules and regulations for the digital assets, central banks decided on a different approach.

Many of them started working on their own digital currencies, calling them CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies). The new trend was sparked by China’s announcement of the upcoming ‘digital yuan,’ but many others were soon to follow.

Now, according to a recent report by Reuters, Japan might be the next in line to announce its own CBDC, with many assuming that the move comes as a response to Libra and digital yuan. The report says that the coin might be a joint initiative between private companies and Japan’s government, at least according to parliamentary vice-minister for foreign affairs, Norihiro Nakayama.

Nakayama is also one of the key members of the Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers — a group that has around 70 members, and is led by the former economy minister, Akira Amari. Nakayama added that the group will submit its proposal for the ‘digital yen’ in early February.

Other reports deny the idea of Japa’ns CBDC

However, as mentioned before, there are also other reports that claim that Japan has no real plans for issuing its own CBDC. Some claim that Japan’s current finance minister, Taro Aso, responded to the rumors, and has decided to clear out the confusion.

He supposedly stated that Japan has no intention of launching a CBDC, although he did acknowledge that numerous central banks around the world are either already working on it, or are at least studying crypto and the idea itself.

The banks involved with the idea of launching their own CBDCs include the People’s Bank of China, the Bank of England, the Bank of Canada, as well as European Central Bank, and even Sweden’s central bank. Recent reports also claim that the central banks of Hong Kong and Thailand are joining forces to launch a CBDC that would allow them to use the coin for international transactions between the two countries.

Somewhere along the way, the central bank of Japan allegedly got mentioned as well, which is likely what caused the rumors that the country’s lawmakers might announce the coin in the near future. However, if that’s correct, Japan’s finance minister has clearly not been made aware of any such plans.
In addition to that, the country is very unlikely to issue its own crypto anytime soon due to technical and legal difficulties, which Reuters’ report itself acknowledged. Even so, there is no denying that the cryptocurrency sector is becoming the center of attention around the world. Some of the biggest economies across the globe are studying it, or are already making their moves to establish control, and perhaps even domination.

Another thing that can be taken as a certainty right now is that many view Libra and digital yuan as a serious threat to the world of finances, and the progression in development of both projects will certainly be very closely watched.

Do you expect that Japan will join the crypto race? Leave your thoughts on the matter in the comments below.

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