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Mizuho Bank Weighs Digital Currency Services Offering

Mizuho Bank is weighing possible client-facing services after testing a prototype digital currency in partnership with IBM Japan.

Dec 8, 2016 at 1:07 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:44 p.m. UTC

Mizuho Bank is weighing possible client-facing services after testing a prototype digital currency in partnership with IBM Japan.

The project, first announced in June, saw the Japanese bank and IBM’s local division test the digital currency, one unit of which equals one yen.

According to Nikkei, the initiative took place between July and September, focusing on an app that provided information about dining expenses and used the prototype currency as a basis.

Other Japanese financial institutions, including Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), have tested the concept of digital money in the past. Mizuho itself has also experimented with a range of applications since February.

This year also saw a group of domestic banks conduct an exploration of interbank payments via blockchain, the results of which were published last week.

With the Mizuho initiative, the goal was to see whether the bank could improve its transaction-monitoring capabilities and cut any costs associated with moving funds.

As IBM said at the time:

“Using its own virtual currency that trades 1:1 with the Yen in a secure environment could potentially provide better tracking and control of the exchange of funds, and eliminate some of the expenses associated with the exchange of paper-based currency.”

From here, Mizuho is planning to assess whether the IBM-backed digital currency trial could lead to new kinds of services for its clients, according to Nikkei. However, security concerns will reportedly play a role in those deliberations.

Image via Shutterstock

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