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Hokkoku Bank Pioneers with ‘Tochika’: Japan's First Deposit-Backed Stablecoin

Hokkoku Bank's ‘Tochika’ Launch: Spearheading Japan's Shift to Digital Currency

Tue, 02 Apr 2024, 02:18 am UTC

Hokkoku Bank has set a new benchmark in Japan's financial sector by launching 'Tochika', the country's first stablecoin secured by bank deposits. This strategic move aims to enhance digital currency utility and foster a cashless economy, challenging traditional banking norms and paving the way for innovative payment solutions.

Revolutionizing Local Commerce: Hokkoku's Digital Push with Tochika Stablecoin and Tochituka App

The initiative follows the success of their Tochituka app, launched last year in collaboration with the Suzu City government. Citizens can use the app to earn and spend Tochipo points at select local stores. Furthermore, existing Hokkoku bank account holders can now use the same app to load their Tochika stablecoins, Coingape reported.

Deposits back this stablecoin and can be used to make spending easy for participating merchants. Furthermore, the move is groundbreaking in Japan, where cash still reigns supreme.

As a result, Hokkoku hopes to entice retail businesses by providing a competitive merchant rate of just 0.5% for cashless transactions via the app. Furthermore, the bank hopes to persuade companies that issue paper gift certificates to move to the digital realm by embracing point-based transactions enabled by the app.

Expanding Horizons: Hokkoku Bank's Future Plans and Japan's Evolving Cryptocurrency Regulations

Looking ahead, Hokkoku Bank intends to integrate person-to-person payments into the app by the end of the year. It also hopes to entice other banks in Ishikawa Prefecture to join its initiative and express plans to expand into other regions.

Digital Platformer developed the technology that powers this innovative platform. Furthermore, it is thought to use Hyperledger Iroha, a creation of Japan's Soramitsu. While banks worldwide have launched stablecoin initiatives, Hokkoku stands out due to its focus on retail customers and backing by actual bank deposits.

Meanwhile, Japan's cryptocurrency regulatory landscape has undergone recent changes. It has passed new legislation allowing three types of stablecoins, including those backed by banks.

This regulatory support extends to trust-enabled stablecoins, as demonstrated by MUFG's Progmat Coin platform, which allows for the issuance of stablecoins backed by various trust banks. Another significant initiative in Japan is the DCJPY deposit token project, which is set to launch in the current quarter.

Photo: Microsoft Bing

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