A group consisting of Japan’s biggest firms, such as its three biggest banks, brokerages, and retailers, will engage in a pilot to issue a private and widely-accepted digital Yen, as per news outlet Reuters today. The project will start in 2021.
Efforts towards building a cash-free Japan, a nation historically dependent on cash, have accelerated this year amidst the coronavirus pandemic and an increased, worldwide push for state-backed digital currencies
But government initiatives aside, corporations want in on making a common digital currency platform. “Japan has many digital platforms, none of which are big enough to beat cash payments,” said Hiromi Yamaoka, a former Bank of Japan executive who heads the new group.
He added that instead of creating multiple platforms—each with its own technology backend and currency—the project aims to build a singular platform that can be accessed via various methods.