Feb 18, 2023

BoJ to Launch “Digital Yen” Pilot in April 2023

The Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced plans to launch a pilot program for its central bank digital currency (CBDC) in April 2023, following the completion of its proof-of-concept testing. The pilot test is part of a larger effort to create a CBDC ecosystem with the involvement of private businesses.

On Feb. 17, the BoJ released an opening speech from its executive director Shinichi Uchida at a CBDC committee meeting. Uchida specified that the pilot program will focus on the technical feasibility of the “digital yen” and involve the modeling of a CBDC ecosystem with the participation of private companies. It should be noted that the pilot will not include any actual retail transactions, only simulated ones.

The BoJ also plans to create a CBDC forum for the purpose of consulting with the private sector on alternative data models, architectures for offline payments, and other important elements of the system.

The news about the CBDC pilot was highly anticipated, as local media reported the BoJ’s intention back in November 2022. At least three Japanese megabanks and regional banks are expected to collaborate with the BoJ.

In addition, the Financial Services Agency of Japan is considering lifting the ban on foreign stablecoins, which came into law in 2022. If the amendments are passed by June 2023, foreign stablecoins will be subject to individual checks before being allowed into the market.

The BoJ’s digital yen pilot program is an important step towards the adoption of web3 technologies and the promotion of NFTs in Japan. NFTs have been gaining traction in the country, with the prime minister recently expressing support for the “Cool Japan” strategy, which includes the use of DAOs and NFTs.

The BoJ’s pilot program is also expected to open up new opportunities for NFT marketing and promotion. As the BoJ’s ecosystem grows and more businesses become involved, NFT marketing agencies and web3 agencies will likely be able to offer specialized services to help businesses sell NFTs and promote their products on social media platforms like Twitter.

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