Japan’s First Bank of Toyama has entered the fray in launching a state-owned cryptocurrency. Though the full details are yet to be released, it’s been confirmed that the stablecoin will be backed by a one-to-one ratio with the Japanese yen.
Dubbed First Bank Coin (FBC), it’s expected to be available commercially from October 2019, CryptoDisrupt reports. Merchants and consumers will have the opportunity to access zero fee remittances and payment options. Additionally, stores in the bank’s headquarters will accept payment in FBC.
The First Bank of Toyama isn’t the first to explore launching a stablecoin. Japan’s largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is already in the final stages of its own stablecoin experimentation. There is already one store at its headquarters that accepts the MUFG stablecoin as payment.
The Japanese Financial Services Agency recently announced that it doesn’t consider stablecoins to be currencies, which it may have done in the hope of encouraging more financial institutions to launch their own, stating:
“In principle, stable coins pegged by legal currencies do not fall into the category of ‘virtual currencies’ based on the Payment Services Act.”