Though they publicly insist there are no plans to launch a digital yen, the Bank of Japan recently appointed Kazushige Kamiyama, its top economist, to lead a team tasked with accelerating research into a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Kamiyama had previously led the bank’s efforts to use big data for conducting econometric analysis in real time. Analysts believe this proved helpful when the Japanese economy was hit by the COVID-19 epidemic earlier this year.
This latest development indicates how seriously the Japanese central bank is exploring the possibility of launching its own CBDC.
The Bank of Japan only recently announced its new research team, with a goal of seeking private sector input to increase its current understanding.
The Bank of Japan has also worked with several other central banks in a digital currency working group since January of this year.
It’s worth noting that the potential issuance of a digital yen has support in the Japanese government. Moreover, consideration of a CBDC has been written into The Honebuto Plan, which is the basis for Japan’s economic and fiscal policy.
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