Image: Cointelegraph

A crypto-friendly official has been put in charge of Japan’s financial services watchdog.

In a July 20 update to the Financial Services Agency’s executive directory, Ryozo Himino is now listed as the commissioner of the watchdog group. The regulator was formerly the agency’s international financial deputy counselor and the first Japanese chairman of the Standing Committee of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), Cointelegraph reports.

Himino will be replacing outgoing commissioner Toshihide Endo, who bitcoin bull Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano described as “a big proponent of bitcoin and Lightning Network.”

However, the new commissioner may be a bit of a crypto bull himself. In his role as the agency’s International Financial Deputy Counselor, Himino was instrumental in helping bring Blockstream’s Adam Back to a seminar at a G20 meeting in Fukuoka last June. In addition, he has compared Facebook’s virtual currency Libra to an alarm clock, in that it makes “regulators and central bankers open their eyes.”

Digital currency task force

Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) has launched a task force to study issuing a CBDC – a digital version of the yen, NHK reports.

The move comes after government economic guidelines called on the BoJ to examine the feasibility of a digital currency that can be exchanged through smartphones.

The taskforce is looking into the technical challenges of a cryptocurrency in Japan. It will also study the handling of personal information and any legal issues.

The group will coordinate with other central banks and private firms such as telecom carriers.

The BoJ earlier this year agreed to look into digital currencies with the European Central Bank and four other central banks.

China’s central bank is already preparing to issue a digital yuan.