The massive Japanese megabank, Mizuho Financial Group, that manages over $1.8 trillion in total assets will launch their own stablecoin cryptocurrency on March 1. This is according to a report released on February 21 by local financial newspaper Nikkei Asian Review.
Japanese Stablecoin: J-Coin
Per the report, Mizuho’s new stablecoin dubbed “J Coin” will be used for payments and remittance services starting March 1.
Mizuho Financial Group is partnered with 60 counterpart financial institutions, which host a total of 56 million user accounts and will have direct access to Mizuho’s new J-Coin digital currency platform.
As reported, each existing bank account will be directly linked with J-Coin digital wallets, making it easy for the stablecoin to be adopted by consumers. The J-Coin currency will be managed by users via a dedicated mobile application dubbed J-Coin Pay, which will feature retail crypto payments via QR codes at checkout.
Per the Nikkei report, J-Coin will be a stablecoin fixed at a price of 1 yen (~$0.01 USD) per unit, which can be transferred between J-Coin wallets and Mizuho bank accounts free of charge.
Moreover, obtaining a J-Coin wallet will be easier than opening a bank account, as users will not be required to undergo credit checks and can open a wallet under the age of 18.
J-Coin wallets also differ from traditional bank accounts in that they serve a more flexible range of payments and remittance services, such as the ability to split bills between friends and colleagues, or transfer small amounts of money very easily.
J-Coin for Retail Payments
Mizuho Financial Group plans to bring J-Coin to the mainstream by allowing users to spend the cryptocurrency at retail stores throughout Japan.
In an effort to bring this plan to reality, the banking giant is establishing connections with retail industry players, such as with popular Japanese convenience store FamilyMart, electronic retailer Bic Camera, and East Japan Railway.
Mizuho reportedly aims to onboard a minimum of 300,000 stores and sign up at least 6.5 million users within a few years. While these numbers seem quite large, in reality, Mizuho is not setting the bar too high.
For instance, the popular chat app provider, Line, who launched their own cryptocurrency, already have 79 million Japanese users and are currently supported at 1.3 million stores.
Therefore, Mizuho needs to step up their game if they hope to compete with Line, which is why they are reportedly pursuing a partnership strategy with Alibaba’s Alipay to help J-Coin and J-Coin Pay become adopted by more retail stores.
Another point worth mentioning is that J-Coin Pay will charge merchants lower transaction fees than credit cards do, which will be somewhere below the 2 to 5% mark.
Do you think J-Coin will catch on among mainstream Japanese citizens? Will J-Coin take people’s interest away from Bitcoin or bring even more people to Bitcoin? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.