The chief executive of MUFG, one of Japan’s ‘megabanks’, has offered his opinions on the recent remarks made by JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon.
In an interview with CNBC, Nobuyuki Hirano, president & group CEO of Tokyo-based Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, answered questions about the bank’s digital currency endeavor as well as recent criticism of bitcoin from JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon. The infamous comments predictably made media headlines after Dimon labeled bitcoin “a fraud” after previously calling the cryptocurrency and its entire ecosystem a “waste of time”.
As reported by CCN in February 2016, MUFG revealed one of the earliest-known efforts of a private bank developing a digital currency called ‘MUFG Coin’. Hirano was quick to distinguish a banks’ “private” digital currency from bitcoin, a “public” digital currency.
“I mean, there are different types of digital currencies,” stated Hirano. “In short, the digital currency probably Jamie blamed as fraud is public digital currency. There is no responsible party to manage and control and govern.”
Hirano further explained that the “private digital currency” being developed by banks is to function as “interbank money” that would see control and oversight.
He stated of the ‘private digital currency’:
[It] has nothing to do with Bitcoin or other type or that there’s that currencies which does not have any controlling arm, which has huge volatility every day and which is not really with the money laundering and other problems. So we believe that that kind of application of digital currency or Bitcoin or sorry blockchain chain will be of great use for us to make every operation more efficient.
A seldom publicized-fact: MUFG is an investor in bitFlyer, Japan’s biggest bitcoin exchange by volume and has already testing domestic money transfers on a blockchain titled ‘miyabi’ developed by the bitcoin startup. MUFG has also begun issuing its proprietary digital currency ‘MUFG coin’ to its employees this year as a part of a trial ahead of a commercial rollout anticipated to be sometime this year.
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