Bank of Japan, ECB and other central banks to discuss starting digital currencies

Cryptocurrency on the model of Bitcoin. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TOKYO, Feb 6, 2020, Kyodo. Six major central banks, including the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank, will meet in mid-April to discuss issues around the prospective introduction of central bank digital currencies, sources close to the matter said Thursday, The Japan Times reported.

The governors of the ECB and central banks in the U.K., Canada, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland will discuss conducting joint research into the possible future introduction of digital currencies, and potential challenges such as cross-currency settlement and defense against cyberattacks, the sources said.

The central bankers will meet in Washington on the sidelines of an International Monetary Fund conference, and will likely issue a report on their discussions later in the year, they added.

Facebook Inc.’s plan to introduce its Libra cryptocurrency has prompted central banks to accelerate research into digital currencies.

U.S. Federal Reserve board member Lael Brainard said Wednesday that active public-private sector discussions are needed on regulatory issues related to digital currencies and potential threats to the stability of financial systems.

“Given the dollar’s important role, it is essential that we remain on the frontier of research and policy development regarding CBDC (central bank digital currency),” Brainard said in a speech at a symposium in California.

China is already moving toward issuing a digital yuan. The country’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, said in a statement from its working conference in January that it is progressing “smoothly” with the development of a government-backed digital currency.

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