Following a two-year investigation phase, the Bank of Japan is kicking off pilot trials of a digital yen.
The pilot trials of the central bank's CBDC will take place in April, following the conclusion of two proof-of-concept projects which tested the basic elements of issuance, payout and transfer of digital yen and more complex testing of the feasibility and technical performance of the system under a variety of scenarios.
Announcing the pilot trial, BoJ executive Uchida Shinichi, states: "The aim of the pilot programme is twofold: first, to test the technical feasibility not fully covered by the PoCs, and second, to utilise the skills and insights of private businesses in terms of technology and operation for designing a CBDC ecosystem in the possible event of social implementation.
"Under the pilot programme, we plan to develop a system for experiments, where a central system, intermediary network systems, intermediary systems and endpoint devices would be configured in an integrated manner."
The trials will entail simulated transactions with retailers and consumers alongside the establishment of a CBDC forum with private sector institutions in the payment space.
Japanese card giant JCB has already joined forces with identity specialist Idemia and fintech Soft Space to investigate how any digital yen would work in retail stores.
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