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Cryptocurrencies

Mizuho goes ahead with plans to launch digital currency J-Coin

Thursday 28 December 2017 | 10:12 AM CET

Mizuho Financial Group has announced plans to issue J-Coin, a digital currency, with other Japanese banks in 2018.

The idea was first initiated in September 2017, when Mizuho teamed up with several banks and held study meetings with other institutions to test the new currency. The financial institution plans to set processing fees paid by merchants lower than those for credit cards, President Yasuhiro Sato said in a recent interview with The Nikkei.

A pilot study will be carried out by March 2018 in one or two locations. J-Coin will be converted into yen on a one-to-one basis and used at supermarkets, restaurants and other retailers, with shoppers scanning a QR code with their smartphones. Mizuho also seeks to improve convenience by allowing users to exchange J-Coin with other digital currencies and electronic money.

It is important for J-Coin to be able to connect with Alibaba Group Holding's Alipay mobile payment platform, according to Sato. Alipay is widely used among Chinese consumers, and a linkup would make it easier for businesses accepting J-Coin to tap demand from Chinese and other foreign visitors to Japan.

Meanwhile, rival megabank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is developing its own digital currency, MUFG Coin, the Asian online publication concludes.

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