Tuesday 16 March 2021 9:00 pm

Bank of Japan lays down cryptocurrency plan

The Bank of Japan has revealed it is drawing up plans for a national digital currency.

Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the 138-year-old institution, today told a seminar that the central bank should start immediately on “preparing thoroughly” for a future with its own cryptocurrency.

He detailed that plans were in place to begin experiments with creating a digital asset later this year.

There was, however, no indication from Kuroda of any plans to actually issue a central crypto, but he stressed there was a need to be fully ready should the need arise.

“From the viewpoint of ensuring the stability and efficiency of the overall payment and settlement systems, it’s important to prepare thoroughly to respond to changes in circumstances in an appropriate manner,” he said.

Today’s announcement follows a discussion hosted by the Bank of Japan in October where the prospect of operating a national cryptocurrency was first mooted, largely in response to calls to ensure the central bank was not left behind by private financial enterprise.

A team of experts, appointed by the governor, will complete the initial phase of ‘basic function’ testing in Tokyo by the end of April.