By Takahiko Wada
TOKYO (Reuters) - Central bank digital currencies will help boost trading of cryptocurrencies by providing a more convenient platform for converting cryptocurrencies into legal tenders, said Oki Matsumoto, head of Japan's Monex Group.
Matsumoto, chief executive of the major financial services firm, welcomed the Bank of Japan's plan to look into the idea of issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC), saying it will help Japan move toward a more efficient, digitalised economy.
"CBDCs will significantly enhance the interoperability of cryptocurrencies," he told Reuters on Tuesday. "It would make the cryptocurrency market more lively."
At present, converting cryptocurrencies into legal tenders is not easy because many smaller cryptocurrency exchange brokers do not hold bank accounts, Matsumoto said.
If CBDCs are issued, they would offer a digital-friendly platform where CBDCs, cryptocurrencies and legal tenders could be converted to one another more smoothly, he added.
The BOJ said last month it would begin experimenting next year on how to operate its own digital currency, joining efforts by other central banks to catch up to rapid private sector innovation.
Monex is an owner of Coincheck, a bitcoin exchange operator based in Tokyo.
(Reporting by Takahiko Wada, writing by Leika Kihara)