The Bank of Japan announced on July 20 that it had formed a new team to accelerate research into the feasibility of central bank digital currencies (CBDC).

The team takes over from a previous group formed earlier this year, and will also continue research work undertaken with other central banks. BoJ said it does not currently have plans to issue its own CBDC, although this could change in the future.

BoJ was already conducting research into the feasibility of a national CBDC, and formed a digital currency working group with five other central banks from Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland and the European Union back in January.

The latest announcement would appear to simply reflect the Japanese Cabinet’s approval on Friday of an annual economic policy guideline confirming the continuation of this collaborative effort.

Mixed messages

The BoJ’s deputy governor stated in January that it must be ready to issue a CBDC should public demand surge. Then earlier this month it announced that it would begin a proof-of-concept process for the digital yen.

However the official line is still that it has no plans to launch one, but this may change in the future.

Meanwhile, Japanese megabank MUFG is planning to release its own stablecoin later this year.