Japanese regional banks, HokkokuBank and Kono Shinkin Bank, have introduced a local digital currency project that utilizes blockchain technology. The endeavor, called Tochitsuka, is powered by an application that allows users to exchange points earned from community volunteer services for goods at local stores. HokkokuBank plans to integrate a deposit-backed stablecoin named Tochika into the system by the end of the year. The developers of the app, Digital Platformer, have already enrolled over 50 retail outlets, where users can redeem their points. Expansion to other regions is also being considered.
The initiative offers low transaction fees of just 0.5% for the upcoming stablecoin, making it an appealing option for merchants. This cost reduction is made possible by utilizing blockchain technology to facilitate data sharing between retailers and the bank. It is believed that the app employs the Hyperledger Iroha consortium blockchain, which has also been used by Soramitsu, a Japan-based core developer that implemented a similar system for the Cambodian Bakong project. Earlier this year, QR Investments, a subsidiary of HokkokuBank, invested in Digital Platformer.
This development follows recent legislation in Japan that supports the issuance of stablecoins. HokkokuBank’s project is one of several stablecoin initiatives in the country. Progmat Coin, a stablecoin platform originally created by MUFG but now supported by multiple banks, is among the more prominent offerings. Binance is also exploring the use of this platform to issue trust-based stablecoins, pending regulatory clearance.
According to my analysis, this article is approximately 95% likely to be factual news based on the information it presents. The article provides detailed insight into the technological and financial innovation by Japanese banks, without any recognizable political bias. The inclusion of specific details about the project, its developers, and the involved banks enhances its credibility.