Blockchain / Distributed Ledger

Forget Bitcoin — Tokyo Bank Wants Its Own Digital Currency

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (MUFG) is looking to go beyond bitcoin to innovate its FinTech side. The bank is reviewing its own digital currency option that uses the same underlining technology.

This report comes after a local newspaper reported that the bank would issue virtual currency next year, but the bank has since come out and said the bank has not made any official decisions. The bank didn't deny that it's making its own digital currency but did note there was no formal announcement.

In fact, the bank actually confirmed the digital currency experiment plans.

"Regarding the speculation [in] media reports, these reports are not based on any announcement by MUFG, and the details have not been decided," the bank's spokesman said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

"However, we can only say that it's true that MUFG is conducting demonstration experiments on the 'Coin' within the company, utilizing a blockchain technology."

What the report says is that the bank is also planning on enabling its customers to be able to take out money from their accounts via a smartphone app. That money will then be converted at a one-to-one ratio between the "coin" and yen. Essentially, what the bank coin system will do is act as prepaid digital money, similar to Suica, which is already used in the region. The bank is also reportedly looking into automatic teller machines.

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