There have been numerous reports on banks, stock trading corps and various other financial institutions showing interest in bitcoin’s underlying technology, the blockchain. Yet, not many have showcased their interest in using digital currencies for other purposes- until now.
Recently, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ has announced that it has begun conducting experiments using their very own digital currency. With this in mind, the bank plans to release its digital currency sometime in the autumn of 2017.
Unfortunately, the virtual currency in question will not work like bitcoin. Rather, it will be equal to one Japanese yen and have its value controlled by a higher entity. The new technology will bring in numerous advantages though. Some of these include the possibility given to users to quickly withdraw money from their bank account and place it onto an app located on their smartphones. The money can then be converted to digital currency and used to quickly pay for goods and services.
In a recent press statement, the bank’s spokesperson said that: “Regarding the speculation (in) media reports, these reports are not based on any announcement by MUFG, and the details have not been decided (…) However we can only say that it's true that MUFG is conducting demonstration experiments on the 'Coin' within the company utilizing blockchain technology".
At this moment in time, there are numerous other platforms that offer prepaid electronic money, thus covering a large percentage of the market. However, the bank aims to beat all of them by offering commission fees that are significantly lower when compared to the rest of the competition.
Together with this, it seems like the bank has also started working on ATMs that customers can use to withdraw the MUFG coins directly onto their smartphones, or even to convert the digital currency into cash. The machines however, may start being placed around big cities sometimes in the spring of 2018.
The bank’s digital currency move comes after the Japanese government has finally passed a set of bills meant to recognize digital currencies as money. These bills were also meant to tighten the regulation placed upon digital currency exchanges operating in the country, as a way to block illegal activity, but also to ensure that no exchange operating on Japanese territory will fall like the Mt Gox Exchange again.
Based on everything that has been outlined so far, what do you personally think about the efforts being put in by the Japanese Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Bank? Will they succeed to absorb the market for digital currencies in Japan once their service is public? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.