The panel under the Finance Ministry says the digital yen must co-exist alongside—not replace—cash and be easily usable "by anyone, anytime and anywhere.”
The Bank of Japan clarified that it has yet to decide on launching a digital yen but will open a discussion with the public via a CBDC forum before making a decision.
The panel will launch in April under the Finance Ministry and will build on the two years’ worth of studies and tests by the Bank of Japan, according to reports.
BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda believes that while CBDC won't completely replace existing forms of payments, it is critical in boosting the strength of the industry and rallying for financial inclusion.
The central bank digital currency pilot in April will center on testing technical areas not covered by the initial PoC stages as the BOJ attempts to find a solution to using the digital yen for offline payments.
The central bank stated that the pilot would be conducted with a trio of mega banks and regional banks with a keen focus on the issuance and withdrawals of the state-backed digital currency.
In collaboration with France's IDEMIA and Malaysia's Softspace, the Bank of Japan will pilot a project in preparation for the full-scale CBDC launch, beginning with a touch payment infrastructure.
The BOJ completed the first phase, which started in April last year, in which it focused on the basic functions of a CBDC, such as issuing and distribution.
Japan’s central bank will uphold simplicity in its design of a CBDC, with a senior official saying this is key in making it interoperable with payment systems.
The country’s financial services regulator has reportedly established a new unit that will oversee the industry, even as the Finance Ministry increases its headcount to better police the rapidly growing industry.
A list of celebrity tech investors is looking into the latest buzzword in the blockchain industry—non-fungible tokens (NFTs).