Japan’s biggest lender, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), is planning a new cryptocurrency called MUFG Coin, which promises to create a borderless shopping experience, according to local news outlet NHK.
The company is also said to be investigating other ways to leverage the tokenized digital currency and its underlying blockchain technology across its banking services.
The new coin is reportedly allowing the customer base to purchase goods and services from “restaurants, convenience stores and other shops, as well as make transfers to the accounts of other participants.”
The move comes nearly one year after the banking giant has joined the blockchain-based “utility settlement coin” (USC) project, becoming one of the more noteworthy firms in the Asia-Pacific region to hop on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.
Scheduled to go live in late 2018, the USC aims to help central banks create their native cryptocurrencies by making it easier to process and finalize transactions using collateralized assets on a custom-built blockchain.
The world’s fourth largest bank by assets, and the largest non-Chinese lender, is planning a large-scale trial involving nearly 100,000 account holders.
Within that context, MUFG Securities, its securities subsidiary, has been working more closely with Ripple’s interbank group Global Payments Steering Group (GPSG). This collaboration intends to test moving real funds over RippleNet – Ripple’s enterprise blockchain network.
The new initiative will be exploring many different applications, and the exchange rate of one MUFG coin will be equal to one yen.
Like many other companies, MUFG is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology. A similar attitude toward digital currencies has been developing recently with many tech giants already announcing trial runs of prototype cryptocurrencies, which could serve as rivals to the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum.