Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ has confirmed it is developing a digital currency backed by a blockchain, the same kind of technology that underpins bitcoin.

The bank, one Japan’s largest by assets, has been tight lipped about rumors of a digital currency system whose users would purportedly be able to withdraw money from its ATMs, which would be downloaded onto the users’ smartphones.

"Regarding the speculation (in) media reports, these reports are not based on any announcement by MUFG, and the details have not been decided,” the company told Reuters Tuesday. “However we can only say that it's true that MUFG is conducting demonstration experiments on the 'Coin' within the company utilising a blockchain technology."

MUFG is reportedly planning an early 2017 launch.

The system will be comparable to Suica, a prepaid e-money card used as a fare card on Japanese train lines. Once users have downloaded funds onto their phones they will be able to use it for peer-to-peer funds transfers and online shopping. The MUFG coin will be pegged to the Japanese yen, at one MUFG coin to 1 yen.

MUFG is also supposedly developing ATMs where other

The bank is also reportedly developing ATMs from which other customers would be able to withdraw MUFG coins onto their smart. Those are scheduled to launch in spring 2018.

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