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Japan’s Largest Financial Group Trials Own Cryptocurrency

One of the world’s largest financial groups, Japanese company Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, has been trialing its own cryptocurrency.

The company has made its own Mufg coin available for payments by employees at its headquarters own convenience store in its Tokyo HQ. The experiment is said to be going well according to the company and “is quietly advancing” as Mitsubishi UFJ tests out whether either purchasers or merchant come across any issues.

Employees use the coin by simply scanning a QR code on their smartphones at checkout. The coins can also be used to exchange money between workers at the store. The coin is currently pegged to the Japanese yen at 1:1.

The company is carrying out the test to examine how blockchain may improve transactions such as payments and withdrawals, commenting:

“Potentially this coin could have large-scale commercial potential, as well serving small-scale retail bank customers. Other than Mufg coin, Mufg is testing another untitled digital currency rewards [program] for employees who reduce their overtime hours and practise a healthy lifestyle.”

Mufg has total assets of JPY 306 trillion (USD 2.76 trillion). Mufg Bank is Japan’s largest, operating in 40 countries outside of the country. The fact that that the bank is looking at looking at an internal cryptocurrency payment system, with a view to its wider applications within the company’s overall system, is sure to make significant ripples around Japan’s financial and banking sector.

The company stated that one reason for the coin trials stemmed from their obvious simplicity of use and convenience when compared to that of traditional fiat currency and banknotes, also providing the user and merchant a low-cost transaction option. These coins would offer the user “instantaneous transfer capabilities”.

Last year, Mufg president Nobuyuku Hirano suggested when the trials were forecast that the bank was planning to “overcome issues of virtual currencies and create a highly useful currency”. This is another indication of how Japanese acceptance of Bitcoin has filtered down to large corporations who are now beginning to examine cryptocurrency’s potential within financial systems in the country.

 

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