Bank of Japan forms committee to share details on CBDC proof-of-concept

The Bank of Japan said Friday that it has created a "liaison and coordination committee" intended to support its planned efforts to test a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the coming weeks.

As previously reported, Japanese central bank officials said this month that its experiments would begin in the spring. The purpose of the committee is to serve as a connecting point between the central bank and the private sector. 

In a March 26 letter, the BOJ laid out its rationale for wanting to create such a committee:

"While the Bank currently has no plan to issue central bank digital currency (CBDC), from the viewpoint of ensuring the stability and efficiency of the overall payment and settlement systems, the Bank will prepare thoroughly, including implementing experiments, to respond to changes in circumstances in an appropriate manner. In the course of CBDC exploration, the Bank considers it important to apply the knowledge of various stakeholders such as the private sector, experts, and relevant public authorities."

In a way, the language mirrors statements from the U.S. Federal Reserve, which is also making preparations to begin sharing details of its CBDC experimentation with the public. The Fed has said that if it were to ever pursue a CBDC in production, private-sector involvement would be critical to its success.

Private-sector members of the BOJ group include a range of banking, payments and fintech associations, per the document. Meetings will be hosted virtually and "held as necessary depending on the progress of the PoC", with details set to be published in consultation with members.