The Japanese banks consortium headed by Mizuho Financial Group and Japan Post Bank plans to launch a national digital currency, as reported by ft.com.
The Japanese authorities and the central bank are claimed to support the project aimed at developing a solution that will allow citizens to pay for goods and services using smartphones. It is expected that a new crypt currency called J-Coin will be released before the start of the Summer Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo.
Thus, as reported, 70% of all payments in Japan are made in cash. For banks and government, such dependence entails additional costs, e.g. financial institutions are forced to bear the extra costs associated with transportation, collection and audit of large amounts of cash.
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.
Mizuho Financial Group president and chief executive officer
The consortium of banks has calculated that, thanks to the new cryptocurrency, Japan's economy will be able to receive at least 10 billion yen ($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.
It's also worth mentioning, that a bit earlier the Japanese Mizuho Financial Group has also teamed up with tech conglomerate Hitachi in order to use blockchain platform for supply chain management.