The chief executive of Japanese financial giant Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is seeking to differentiate a blockchain project his bank is involved with from bitcoin following notable comments last week from JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon.
In a new interview with CNBC, MUFG CEO Nobuyuki Hirano responded to questioning about the JPMorgan chief executive's remarks, which made headlines after he branded bitcoin "a fraud" and saying that "it won't end well." Notably, Hirano stressed in the interview that "there are different types of digital currencies," including one that forms part of a blockchain-based settlement system that MUFG and other financial institutions are developing.
"In short the digital currency probably Jamie blamed as fraud is public digital currency," he told the outlet.
Hirano went on to emphasize that, unlike public cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, private digital currencies are regulated and controlled, arguing:
"...it's a kind of interbank money or securities settlement clearing method. So it has nothing to do with bitcoin or other type or that there's that currencies which does not have any controlling arm, which has a huge volatility every day and which is not really with the money laundering and other problems."
The MUFG CEO concluded that, by applying blockchain to the payments and settlement process, the bank hopes "to make every operation more efficient."
The institution has been working on digital currency concepts for some time, including an internal "MUFG coin" which sought to replicate aspects of other digital currencies but without bitcoin's energy-intensive mining process.