The FATF approved the role of Japan as the leader of the group for development of a global network of cryptocurrency payments, similar to the SWIFT interbank system.

Japan will start working on a project of an international network of cryptocurrency payments, which will serve as an analogue of the SWIFT banking network. The goal of the project is to fight money laundering, Reuters reports, citing an anonymous source familiar with the plans of the Japanese government. Creating a network will take several years.

Japan’s initiative received the support of the International Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), which will monitor the development of the project. Japan will cooperate with other countries in creating a cryptocurrency payment network.

The plan for creating a cryptocurrency analogue of SWIFT was designed by the Ministry of Finance of Japan and the Financial Services Agency (FSA).

Both the FSA and the Ministry of Finance declined to comment.

Tokyo seeks to ensure the security of payments in virtual currencies, hoping to use the fintech industry to stimulate economic growth. Japan became the first country in the world, which in 2017 began to regulate the exchange of cryptocurrencies at the national level.

Digital currencies can also be the topic of the G7 finance ministers meeting in France this week.

In 2016, SWIFT released a 20-page report on distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) in which it said it planned to become a DLT-based services provider. Focused on the technology’s technical, operational and business capabilities, the report highlights both the opportunities blockchain brings and challenges faced by DLTs in terms of wider adoption within the financial industry.

The report lists strong governance, data control, compliance with regulatory requirements, standardization, identity framework, security, cyber defence, reliability, and scalability among the technology’s current areas of underperformance, and suggests how DLTs can be further improved to overcome the said issues.

Since blockchain has a number of distinguishing features the company finds potentially rewarding, SWIFT promises to develop its own DLT-based platform to provide related services to more than 11,000 of its members as soon as blockchain ”matures “and “firm business use cases emerge.”