Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co. plans to introduce a cryptocurrency linked to the price of gold as early as this month, Nikkei Asia reported on Friday.
- The token, dubbed ZipangCoin (ZPG), will be sold to retail investors and will be linked to the price of gold in yen, procured by Mitsui from the London Metal Exchange, according to the report. The price of one ZPG will equal the value of one gram of gold and will be guaranteed by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Nikkei wrote.
- ZPG is likely to be Japan's first gold-linked token, but not the first such token in the world. Being pegged to the price of gold, ZPG is likely to be a relatively stable crypto.
- ZPG will initially be sold through Mitsui's own exchange. The exchange, which has been set up along with Seven Bank and others, is registered with the Kanto Local Finance Bureau and is licensed by Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA), Nikkei Asia reported. Kanto is the region encompassing the Greater Tokyo Area.
- Mitsui plans to also use ZPG as a payments tool, used at the trading house's affiliated retailers through a smartphone app and other digital payment systems, according to the report.
- FSA-registered exchanges that want to trade ZPG will have to undergo user identity verification, the report said.
- The coin will run on a private blockchain, unlike those that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether are based on, according to the Nikkei Asia report. Private, also called permissioned, blockchains control who participates in the network.
- Sumitomo Mitsui Banking is also part of a consortium of more than 70 Japanese banks and industry leaders that are working to issue a bank deposit-backed digital yen.
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