Crypto Down; Bank of Japan Looks into Central Bank Digital Currencies

Cryptocurrencies were slightly lower in Asia on Friday after a rather bullish performance earlier in the week. Meanwhile, Japan’s central bank is looking to the implications of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) for the current monetary system.

On Friday morning, Bitcoin was down 0.31% to $3,951.4 by 11:34 PM ET (4:34 GMT).

Ethereum lost 1.01% to $146.71, XRP dropped 2.83% to $0.32091, and Litecoin slid 3.05% to $49.547.

The capitalization of the crypto market hit $135 billion, compared to $120 billion a week earlier.

In Asia, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) released a report saying that it is studying the role of CBDCs, whether they could be assessable to the general public just like banknotes, or they should be limited for large-value settlements.

The BOJ said that “it is needed to assess possible impacts not only on payment efficiency but also on financial structure and the overall economy”, but stressed that it “[does] not have an immediate plan to issue digital currencies that can replace banknotes.”

The bank also noted that for token-based CBDCs, it may consider adopting blockchain technology.

The BOJ’s open attitude towards CBDCs is a shift from that of deputy governor Masayoshi Amamiya, who once said central bank-issued digital currencies are unlikely to improve the existing monetary systems.

Elsewhere, Germany-based derivatives exchange Eurex, which is operated by Deutsche Boerse (DE:DB1Gn), was said to be launching futures contracts tied to digital coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple.

Deutsche Boerse has been considering digital currency futures since 2017, as its spokesperson said “we are thinking about futures, with which private investors and institutional investors can protect existing investments in Bitcoin or set for falling prices of the cyber currency.”/

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