UPDATE: This story was originally posted on 5/20/18 and has gone viral on social media, so we are posting it to our homepage again for our readers on 6/12/18 who may have missed it.
By Bill Taylor/ Contributor
When one of the largest banks on the globe announces a game-changing project everyone needs to sit up and take notice. Japan’s Mitsubishi Financial Group, easily one of the top five banks in the world, is going to create its very own cryptocurrency. Mitsubishi’s intention is to begin testing a proprietary cryptocurrency by 2019 by letting a handful of customers (100,000) use their new coin to make retail purchases and allow the bank to “work out the bugs” before a full roll out. Dubbed the MUFG Coin, it is designed to facilitate transactions to buy food, clothing and basic everyday needs. It is pretty common knowledge that Asia is far in front of the rest of the world in fintech innovation, but this is REALLY big news on the banking front, and sure to encourage other variations globally.
The MUFG Coin’s users will need to download an app that will convert fiat deposits into the token which is designed to be at parity with the Yen. Basically Mitsubishi, after participating in various thought groups with other banks on crypto-solutions, decided to ‘just do it’ and create their own digital currency. Remember, in Japan bitcoin core (BTC) is ruled legal tender and is already used to buy everything from airline tickets to sushi. However, the MUFG Coin is designed to “be better than bitcoin” and lower transaction costs significantly.
To be sure, Mitsubishi will have competition. Mizuho Bank has it’s J-Coin that is shooting for a launch in conjunction with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Yahoo! Japan is already in the space (but its not a bank) and an e-commerce group (DMM) has a cryptocurrency exchange. BUT, this is just the beginning. Private digital currencies are rolling out everywhere. Indonesian airline Air Asia recently announced it will replace its frequent flier program with a digital currency (HUGE) that can be used for onboard purchases, Wifi, etc and……..well, how about a Disney coin (Mickey Mouse Coin – MMC)?
So, once again we see the innovation coming from overseas while here in the U.S., procrastination goes to a new level.
Bill Taylor is Managing Partner at Fintek Capital & a frequent contributor to FintekNews