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Japanese Largest Bank Tests Digital Currency in Cashier-free Store

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the largest bank in Japan and one of the largest in the world, has opened an unmanned convenience store for its employees – with payments made in its MUFG coin digital currency.

Source: iStock/winhorse

The bank has claimed it has made a major breakthrough with its newest development, which makes use of the AMZN.O authentication protocol, image recognition technology that Amazon uses as part of its Amazon GO initiative.

Mitsubishi UFJ employees at the pilot store simply scan the products they wish to buy from the store using an MUFG coin mobile app, which automatically charges their accounts – without the need to interact with store employees, checkouts or in-store technology.

The group has also begun pilot tests at stores around the country, allowing customers to settle their bills in the MUFG coin currency at checkouts.

Mitsubishi UFJ began work on its blockchain-powered MUFG coin project in 2016. The bank has claimed it will begin operating two-way ATM machines in the first part of this year, allowing users to withdraw or deposit funds in its digital currency. Mitsubishi UFJ began issuing tokens to its employees beginning in May last year.

The company is also part of a “study group” currently working on legal framework for Initial Coin Offering (ICO) issuance with the blessing of the country’s government. Per media reports, the new legal framework could see the country’s Financial Services Agency perform a regulatory function, issuing licenses to ICO issuers, much as it currently does with cryptocurrency exchange platforms.