Bank of Japan Official: Central Banks Need to Watch Blockchain

By Stan Higgins for Coindesk

A deputy governor of Japan’s central bank has said that central banks worldwide need to pay close attention to developments surrounding digital currencies and blockchain technology.

Speaking during a conference earlier this week in Japan, Deputy Governor Hiroshi Nakaso weighed in on several aspects of the financial technology landscape, including bitcoin and blockchain technology.

Noting that the technology has “attracted considerable attention”, Nakaso stated in his speech:

“The application of those technologies would also change the structure of the financial infrastructure that has been built around centralized ledgers managed by trusted third parties. Thus, central banks will and have to follow these issues closely and with great interest.”

The comments come two years after another Bank of Japan official, governor Haruhiko Kuroda, told reporters that he did not believe bitcoin qualified as an actual form of currency, and as such, Nakaso’s new comments suggest more openness on the part of the central bank.

The Japanese financial industry has certainly indicated its willingness to test the technology – an intriguing move given that Japan was home to Mt Gox, the now-defunct bitcoin exchange that collapsed amid allegations of fraud.

Recent investments in Japan’s bitcoin and blockchain space indicate that local investors see a future for the technology, with two startups recently raising a combined $30m to advance their regional bitcoin and blockchain businesses.

Tokyo image via Shutterstock

First appeared at Coindesk