The Bank of Japan (BoJ) has teamed up with private financial institutions to conduct a pilot experiment for a digital yen, sources say.
The move, which had been widely expected, follows two years of experiments the BoJ has been coordinating to decide whether to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The Nikkei newspaper reported that the BoJ will start pilot experiments for launching a digital yen with Japan’s three megabanks and regional banks next spring.
A spokesperson for the BoJ was not immediately available to comment on Wednesday, a public holiday in Japan.
The move will come after the BoJ wraps up a second phase of its CBDC experiment that started in April, and which will last about a year.
While the BoJ has not made any decision yet on whether to issue its own digital currency, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said in May that providing a retail CBDC could be an option to secure a seamless and safe infrastructure in Japan.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara