Digital currencies will not replace physical money soon: Bank of Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) – Financial technology is fast revolutionizing the banking industry but digital currencies will not replace physical money any time soon, a senior Bank of Japan (BOJ) official said on Wednesday.

“It’s too far off,” Hiromi Yamaoka, head of the BOJ’s payment and settlement systems department, said on the sidelines of a forum on financial innovation hosted by Thomson Reuters.

“It would change the banking system too drastically.”

Japan has become a front runner in the financial technology (fintech) industry, with the government this year having recognized bitcoin as legal tender and approved several companies as operators of cryptocurrency exchanges.

The BOJ last year set up a section in charge of fintech to offer guidance to banks seeking new business opportunities, and joined up with the European Central Bank to study distributed ledger technology (DLT) like blockchain…

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