Kiffmeister’s FinTech Daily Digest (07/20/2020)

BOJ creates new team to look into central bank digital currencies
The Bank of Japan (BoJ) reportedly is creating a new team in its Payment and Settlement Systems Department to look more closely into central bank digital currencies. The team will follow up on the BOJ’s efforts so far on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), including joint research it has been conducting with other major central banks since January.

Japanese Financial Giant MUFG to Launch Digital Currency in 2020
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), is set to issue a digital currency in the second half of this year. The cryptocurrency will be issued in collaboration with Recruit Group, a major Japanese holding firm that operates restaurant-finding service Hot Pepper Gourmet and many more. The digital currency will be initially utilized in a smartphone payment app for member companies. Recruit has around 1 million member stores.

Banque De France selects 8 potential partners for CBDC experiment
The Banque De France has selected eight potential partners, including HSBC, Accenture, and Seba Bank, in its hunt to modernize interbank settlement via a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The Banque De Ferance also laid out the specific criteria for the CBDC proposals, noting that they aim to “explore new methods of exchanging financial instruments,” but specifically excluding crypto-assets such as Bitcoin. The experiments will also test CBDC regulations to improve the execution of cross-border payments, and revisit methods of making central bank money available.

Mastercard expands cryptocurrency program to allow more firms to issue cards on its network
Mastercard has signed a deal with Wirex that makes the London-based firm the first “native” cryptocurrency platform to gain principal membership. The move highlights a deeper push from one of the world’s biggest financial services companies in the still nascent cryptocurrency industry. Cryptocurrency payment cards aren’t new though — Coinbase launched its own Visa card last year, while Wirex also offers a Visa card.

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