Mizuho Financial Group, Japan’s Banking giant, is set to launch its Yen-Pegged cryptocurrency on March 1. This was reported by the local financial media firm, Nikkei Asian Review.
The Proposed Cryptocurrency
The Mizuho Financial Group’s cryptocurrency which is a stablecoin will be launched in partnership with about 60 counterpart financial institutions that reportedly hosts together about 56 million account users. The stablecoin called J-coin will function in linking existing bank accounts with digital wallets.
The stablecoin is pegged to Yen at a fixed price of 1 yen per unit, and transfers between bank accounts and J-Coin wallets are set to be zero-fee. The crypto will be managed from a dedicated mobile wallet app known as J-coin Pay, using QR codes at checkout to complete retail payments.
Notably, Japan is already being served by payment innovators such as e-commerce giant, Rakuten and chat app provider Line, which has launched its cryptocurrency and in-house blockchain. Mizuho’s CEO, Tatsufumi Sakai informed Nikkei that the arrival of the new entrants into the new digital currency space is eroding what he tagged as “common sense” notion that financial institutions provide payment services.
The prospective J-coin users will not be subjected to credit checks. The J-coin wallet will also serve as a more flexible range of payment and remittance services than traditional bank accounts, with the options for colleagues to split bills or transfer money to family.
J-Coin In The Retail Market
In its quest to become a more established cryptocurrency in the cryptocurrency market in the retail market, Mizhuo will be in negotiations with a popular convenience store, FamilyMart, as well as an electronics retailer, Bic Camera, and transport company, East Japan Railway. This is purportedly aimed at onboarding a minimum of 300,000 stores and sign up of at least 6.5 million users within a few years.
Also, Mizhuo also plans to partner with Alibaba’s Alipay to expand the reach of the coin. The financial institution will charge merchants a lower transaction fee than a credit card that charges 2 to 5 percent to gain more traction.
Meanwhile, J-coin will be competing with already established Line Pay that already boasts of 79 million Japanese users and is already reportedly supported at 1.3 million stores.
Recently, JPMorgan also launched its digital currency which in the words of Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit indicates innovation in the crypto industry.