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Japan’s Biggest Banks Are Talking About Building a Digital Payments System


Three of Japan’s largest banks are among major players joining a study group looking at developing a digital payment system that may address concerns about cryptocurrencies.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), Mizuho Financial Group, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group – institutions that control more than $6.6 trillion in assets between them – will participate in a study group to determine the feasibility of a national digital payments solution.

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange DeCurret, which is hosting the study group, said in a statement, that the members would “examine and discuss challenges and solutions concerning digital currencies and digital settlement infrastructure, to find a consensus toward their realization.”

Aside from major banks, the group will include big players from a whole range of sectors. Telecoms giant KDDI Corporation, for example; as well as the East Japan Railway Company, the country’s largest rail operator; and Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, one of the “Big Four” law firms.

On the regulatory side, both the Bank of Japan (BoJ) and the Financial Services Agency (FSA), will participate as observers, alongside representatives from government departments, including Finance and the Ministry of Economy and Internal Affairs.

Topics up for discussion include how a proposed digital payment system would operate, and potential use cases, both in Japan and overseas. They will also examine service provision and conversations around the setting of infrastructure standards.