Update: Last week, the news broke out that Japan’s banking giant Mizuho is soon to launch its own cryptocurrency J-Coin. Coinspeaker reported about J-Coin’s arrival this month. However, unfortunately, like a number of other media outlets, we got misinformed, as according to the latest report from Quartz, it turns out that J-Coin has nothing to do with cryptocurrency. Please see the updated article here.
Mizuho Financial Group, one of Japan’s largest financial institutions plans to launch its own digital currency named J-Coin. Last week, February 21, local news publication Nikkei Asian Review reported that Mizuho will launch the J-Coin by March 1. Furthermore, the J-Coin is likely to be pegged to the Japanese Yen in 1:1 basis.
According to the Nikkei report, Mizuho is in talks with 60 local financial institutions in Japan for using the J-Coin. Together, this 60 financial institutions serve a total of 59 million user accounts. If all these instituions onboard the J-Coin Pay platform, they will directly serve as digital wallets for its users.
“With the new bank digital currency platform J-Coin Pay, Mizuho Bank and other participating financial institutions will work together towards the Japanese government’s goal of achieving a cashless society,” Mizuho said, reports BlockTribune.
Easy to Use In Comparison to Credit Cards
The Nikkei report also states that J-Coin will be much easy to use over the traditional credit cards, Unlike the credit cards, signing up on J-Coin Pay platform will be hasslefree without much screening. To cater to a wide age group, the J-Coin Pay platform will also onboard users younger than 18 years age.
The J-Coin Pay crypto platform will have a QR Code mechanism for swift payments through the J-Coin Pay app. Also, the J-Coin Pay app would facilitate easy transfer of funds to the banks with no adiditonal charges. The bank said:
“The J-Coin Pay app will launch on iOS and Android on March 1. Customers will be able to register their Mizuho Bank deposit accounts the same day and their deposit accounts at certain participating financial institutions from March 25. Other participating financial institutions will be added gradually thereafter”.
In the future, Mizuho plans to stregthen its position in the cashless payment services market by onboarding more financial affiliates. It will do this by partnering with more retail store in Japan. Currently, convenience store FamilyMart, electronics retailer Bic Camera, and East Japan Railway are considering to sign-up to the J-Coin Pay platform. Also, Mizuho plans to have a minimum of 300,000 participating store. It also plans to onboard over 6.5 million users in the next few years.
Intense Competition in the Japanese Market
Japan is one of the most crypto-friendly nations giving boost to the latest FinTech revolution. Citing the potential of the powerful blockchain technology, the payment and remittance service market is embracing this new technology. Also, a number of local Japanese remittance service providers have launched their own projects.
Local E-commerce giants like Rakuten are planning to have their own digital token systems. Thus, it means that Mizuho’s J-Coin has some intense competition to face in the market. Mizuho CEO Tatsufumi Sakai said:
“The arrival of all these new entrants is eroding the common-sense notion that payment services are provided by financial institutions”.
To up its game, Mizuho is also planning to collaborate with global players. It will partner with QR Code operators outside Japan to facilitate easy J-Coin Pay tansfers between individual customers and corporate clients.
“Our partnerships with UnionPay and Alipay will be our starting point for expanding our network of global partners, with a focus on Asia,” the bank said.