TOKYO - The Group of Seven finance chiefs held a video conference Tuesday to discuss regulatory and other challenges concerning the issuance of digital currencies.
The finance ministers and central bank governors from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States plus the European Union will also talk about the coronavirus pandemic and their responses to its economic impact, conference sources said. They will release a joint statement after the talks.
They are expected to agree on the need to appropriately regulate payment services using virtual currencies to prevent money laundering and other fraudulent transactions, according to the sources.
The move comes as the U.S., European and Japanese central banks are studying the possibility of issuing digital currencies, with similar developments being seen in the private sector, including Facebook Inc.'s proposed Libra stablecoin.
Central bank digital currencies could provide settlements at any place at a lower cost than digital settlements offered by private companies, which charge commissions from retailers and are not necessarily available at all shops.
No central banks in the G-7 economies have so far decided to issue digital currency. China, meanwhile, is set to take the lead.
The People's Bank of China has reportedly started trial payments using digital yuan in part of the country, a move that could lead to wider global use of the Chinese currency and possibly mount a challenge to the international currency system based on the U.S. dollar.
From Japan, Finance Minister Taro Aso and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda joined the conference.