The Bank of Japan (BoJ) has moved its most senior economist to lead the department responsible for research and development into central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
- Kazushige Kamiyama, formerly director-general of the BoJ's Research and Statistics Department, has moved to the Payments and Settlements Systems Department, Reuters reported Friday.
- The department has been heavily involved in a digital currency working group alongside five other central banks since the start of the year.
- It also runs the task force, set up earlier this month, that examines the possible implications of launching a CBDC in Japan.
- A former academic, Kamiyama has been at the BoJ for more than six years, spending two at the central bank's New York offices.
- As head of the research department, he advocated the bank use "Big Data" to better monitor and capture economic trends in real-time.
- Having initially discounted CBDCs, the BoJ has revisited the idea of launching its own digital currency as geopolitical rival China has taken the lead in CBDC development.
- A senior official told local media this week that digital currency research was now a "top priority" for the central bank.