The Bank of Japan has announced plans to begin testing a digital yen in April 2021. The pilot program will involve processing simulated transactions with private financial companies, but consumers and retailers will be excluded. The goal is to prepare the central bank in case the government decides to issue a digital currency, and to ensure its compatibility with the existing monetary system. The Bank of Japan has said it will take Sweden as a model, rather than copying China’s approach to its digital yuan. China has already rolled out the e-CNY to millions of citizens, and allowed its use during the Beijing Winter Olympics.
In other news, the Japanese government has recently approved a bill that reduces the corporate tax on cryptocurrency holdings from 30% to 0%. Despite this, some major exchanges such as Kraken and Coinbase have decided to leave the country, citing unfavorable conditions and a decline in the cryptocurrency industry. Binance, however, has applied for a permit to re-enter the market, and has also acquired Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC).