The Bank of Japan (BOJ) announced this Friday that it had appointed Kazushige Kamiyama, the central bank’s top economist, to lead the department, which is looking into central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
Ever since Facebook released the whitepaper for its Libra stablecoin, central banks have been forced to start seriously considering launching their own digital coins. The appointment announced today appears to be part of the bank’s efforts to keep up with financial innovation and the growing adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
In particular, according to a report from Reuters, Kamiyama will be the head of the payments and settlement department of the BOJ, which has been conducting research into CBDCs in collaboration with other central banks.
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Japan has been historically cautious when it comes to cryptocurrencies and digital assets. However, the country has been slowly warming towards the idea, with the central bank having recently set up a task force focusing on CBDC research.
Furthermore, Japan’s government is also showing an increased interest in digital currencies. On the 14th of July, Japanese news outlet Nikkei reported that the Japanese government is going to include the consideration of a CBDC in its official economic plan, known as the ‘Honebuto Plan for Economic and Fiscal Revitalization.’
Central banks explore CBDCs
The BOJ is not alone in its efforts to explore digital currencies further. As Finance Magnates recently reported, earlier this month, the Bank of Lithuania officially issued its digital collector coin LBCOIN, making it the first digital coin issued by a central bank not only in the euro area but also across the world.
As part of the release, the Bank of Lithuania issued 4,000 LBCOINs, which equals 24,000 digital tokens and 4,000 silver collector coins. The launch was in dedication to the country’s 1918 Act of Independence and its 20 signatories.