NAGOYA--The Bank of Japan has no intention of issuing digital currency anytime soon, and doubts bitcoin or other cryptocurrency alternatives will quickly win wide public acceptance as an option of payment.

That's the word from Masayoshi Amamiya, a central bank deputy governor who shared his views on the issue as a guest lecturer for an autumn annual meeting of the Japan Society of Monetary Economics held here Oct. 20.

The lecture, titled “Future of money,” touched on the future of digital currency and cryptocurrency in Japan. It is extremely rare for a top-level BOJ executive to publicly discuss the monetary system.

Amamiya conceded it is “likely” that cashless transactions will become a more common method of payment at some point.

“There are many aspects we need to look into, whether it would actually contribute to improve efficacy of financial policies or financial stability,” Amamiya said, noting that central banks in some countries are already exploring the merits of issuing digital currency.

He cautioned that if digital money replaced not only cash held by the central bank, but also deposits, it could “have an impact on the bank’s ability to steer the economy" as the function of financial intermediation by banks would be "sharply reduced.”

Amamiya said the Bank of Japan has “no plan to issue a digital currency that could be widely used for payment transactions by individual consumers.”

He also said there are huge obstacles to overcome in adopting cryptocurrencies in daily life because it would be hugely costly to conduct transaction testing to build up confidence in the system.

“It seems to me that the hurdle is extremely high to popularize (a cryptocurrency) as a payment system,” Amamiya added.