Japanese trading house Mitsui is reportedly planning to issue a cryptocurrency pegged to gold, local news agency Nikkei Asia reported Friday.
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Called ZipangCoin (ZPG), Mitsui’s new digital currency will reportedly be issued as early as February and will be available to retail investors through cryptocurrency exchanges.
The stablecoin will be linked to gold prices at yen-denominated prices by Mitsui from the London Metal Exchange, with one ZPG valued equivalent to one gram of gold and guaranteed by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking.
According to the report, the new gold stablecoin will be initially offered through Mitsui’s proprietary crypto exchange and later made available on other exchanges. The trading house launched a crypto trading platform with Seven Bank Japan, registering the exchange with the Kanto Local Finance Bureau under Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) approval.
The new gold-based digital currency is aimed at enabling new options to mitigate financial risk and hedge against inflation. Apart from offering new investment opportunities, Mitsui also reportedly plans to allow ZPG to be used for payments via smartphones at stores and supermarkets, as well as for bill payments.
Mitsui is not the only Japanese company focused on stablecoin development. In November 2021, a consortium of 74 companies including Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Financial and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial announced a trial of DCJPY, a bank deposit-backed yen-based digital currency.
According to Nikkei, Mitsui hopes to issue its retail-focused ZPG ahead of DCJPY.