MUFG Launches Proprietary Digital Coin


MUFG, Japan’s largest bank, will follow JPMorgan Chase in launching a proprietary digital coin.

Reports in the Japan Times said Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) will roll out its digital token, dubbed Coin, later this year, according to bank President Kanetsugu Mike. The financial institution is reportedly planning to introduce the coin as a tool for its enterprise customers to deploy themselves as their own currencies, and white label the technology with customers’ own corporate names.

In an interview with the publication, Mike said the coin can “connect economic blocs” for corporates across different industries using the currency, and added that the bank is focusing on ease of adoption of a broader, coin-connected payment infrastructure for its corporate customers.

MUFG did not confirm when its coin would officially launch.

Earlier this year JPMorgan announced the launch of its own “cryptocurrency,” called JPM Coin. The technology aims to facilitate corporate payments for instant settlement between corporate customers of the institution.

But the initiative has been met with skepticism, particularly considering JPMorgan’s own CEO, Jamie Dimon, had at one time slammed cryptocurrency as a “fraud.”

“If you’re stupid enough to buy [bitcoin], you’ll pay the price for it one day,” he said at a conference in 2017.

But JPMorgan’s technology has also faced questions as to whether the tool is truly a cryptocurrency. Soon after the announcement of JPM Coin’s launch, cryptocurrency advocacy group Coin Center warned that the tool is not permissionless or public, and therefore does not meet the standards for being classified as a cryptocurrency.

“There’s a lot of confusion,” Coin Center Executive Director Jerry Brito told Market Watch in February. “I see folks referring to it as a cryptocurrency. It’s not a cryptocurrency. A cryptocurrency is one that is open and permissionless. If you want to download it, you don’t need permission; you just need some software.”