Japanese banking giant, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is planning to issue its own stablecoin in the second half of 2020. The company’s president and CEO, Hironori Kamezawa made the announcement during an interview with a local news agency, Mainichi.
According to the report, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) is planning to launch mobile retail payments as part of the upcoming launch. The retail payments will be powered by the digital currency in collaboration with its partner, the Recruit Group.
Kamezawa reportedly said that almost 1 million Recruit member stores have already signed up for this collaboration. The CEO added that MUFG token will be available to non-Recruit stores in the future as well, making it openly accessible to everyone.
According to Kamezawa, there are various delays to the project but the coronavirus pandemic may be just the right timing to launch it. He also noted that the company’s operations themselves will be digitized and the digitization will be accelerated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The banking giant initiated its digital currency project in 2015 and was originally designed to run on a blockchain network and facilitate peer-to-peer transactions. The MUFG token is designed as a blockchain-based stablecoin purged 1:1 to the Japanese Yen.
However, the project was delayed several times and it is now scheduled to be launched no later than 2020. The bank was reportedly making efforts to rollout the token throughout both 2018 and 2019.
MUFG has shown keen interest in the blockchain and digital currency space over the past years. The bank was prospectively set to become the first major Japanese bank to issue a digital currency. In September last year, alongside Securitize, Banco Santander and Nomura Holdings, MUFG participated in a $14 million investment round for Coinbase-backed token issuance protocol.