Japan's three biggest banks are investigating the creation of a digital currency settlement infrastructure.
Mizuho Bank, MUFG Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation are joining a study group held by cryptocurrency exchange DeCurret on the creation of a national system.
Japan lags behind China on digital payments, with multiple rivals failing to wean the country off of cash. The participants hope that a common infrastructure could help change this.
The study group, which will meet regularly over the summer, will "examine and discuss challenges and solutions concerning digital currencies and digital settlement infrastructure, to find a consensus toward their realisation, and to present a direction for standardising services and infrastructure," says a statement.
Joining the banks, will be non-financial players such as telecoms giant NTT Group and East Japan Railway Company, which runs the popular Suica smart transit card. The Bank of Japan, Financial Services Agency and several government ministries will all attend as observers.