8 Japanese firms to set up digital asset platform

Eight major Japanese companies have announced they are launching a firm to set up a common digital asset infrastructure. They say they will also issue their own cryptocurrency backed by legal tender.

The businesses announced on Monday they will jointly launch "Progmat" in October. They include Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank and NTT Data.

"Having similar infrastructure systems reduces efficiency," Saito Tatsuya, founder of Progmat, said. "Progmat is designed to create one, strong network."

Officials say the firm will now study how to issue its own currency-based crypto asset, or stablecoin. They say it will be tied to the yen, dollar and other currencies, and utilize blockchain technology.

The officials say they hope to start issuing their stablecoin next summer. They say it will help expedite payments for cross-border trade and cut transaction fees, among other benefits.