Earlier this fall, the Bank of Japan announced its plans to begin testing a central bank digital currency proof-of-concept in 2021. Further details of the institution’s approach to development and collaborations have since emerged, with indications that the private sector is poised to play a prime role, at least in the testing phase.
Earlier today, Reuters reported that the CEO of the Japanese financial services giant Monex Inc. is welcoming the central bank’s more proactive stance toward central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs.
CEO Oki Matsumoto argued that any move to introduce a CBDC would be positive for the digitalization of the Japanese economy, making it more efficient. Moreover, Matsumoto saw an advantage for the non-bank digital currency sector as well:
“CBDCs will significantly enhance the interoperability of cryptocurrencies. It would make the cryptocurrency market more lively.”
For Matsumoto, the fact that many smaller crypto exchange brokers do not have bank accounts presents a limit and hindrance to traders looking to convert their crypto assets into fiat money. With a CBDC in Japan, he argued, there would be the potential to support smoother conversion between crypto and legal tenders within a “digital-friendly” platform.
Monex Inc. notably bought the Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck back in spring 2018, shortly after the platform had been hacked. Over $500 million in stolen cryptocurrency was reported as lost.
Monex has remained active in the digital asset space, last year applying to join the Libra Association, the governance consortium for Facebook’s planned global stablecoin.