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SBI Holdings and Circle to Advance USDC Stablecoin, Web 3.0 Adoption in Japan

by Fintech News Hong Kong
November 27, 2023

Tokyo-based financial institution SBI Holdings has entered into a strategic partnership with Circle Internet Financial, a global fintech firm and sole issuer of USD Coin (USDC).

The collaboration, formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), aims to facilitate the circulation of the USDC stablecoin, enhance banking relationships, and promote Web 3.0 services in Japan.

This initiative follows the Japanese government’s recent amendment to the Payment Services Act on 3 June 2023, which introduces regulations for stablecoins to support the country’s transition towards a Web 3.0 economy.

The revised act emphasises the use of “collateralised” stablecoins backed by legal tender. Circle’s USDC stablecoin is fully backed by liquid cash and cash-equivalent assets and are always redeemable 1 to 1 for U.S. dollars, with reserves held separately at leading financial institutions. The total on-chain USDC transactions have surpassed US$12.7 trillion as of 17 November 2023.

Under the MOU, SBI Group and Circle will focus on working towards the circulation of USDC in Japan and expanding the stablecoin’s utility. Compliance with stablecoin-related regulations and active communication with authorities will be key aspects of their collaboration.

SBI VC Trade Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, is pursuing registration as an electronic payment instruments service to facilitate USDC circulation, pending regulatory approval.

Additionally, SBI Shinsei Bank, Limited will provide banking services to Circle, enhancing USDC access and liquidity for businesses and users in Japan.

SBI Group also plans to integrate Circle’s Web 3.0 services, including programmable wallets, blockchain infrastructure, and smart contract management tools, as part of its digital asset strategy.

Jeremy Allaire

Jeremy Allaire

“Our partnership with SBI Holdings represents a shared vision for the future of digital currency, and is a significant milestone in Circle’s expansion plans in Japan and Asia Pacific.

 

We are excited to collaborate with SBI towards setting new standards in the financial sector in Japan.”

said Jeremy Allaire, CEO and co-founder of Circle.

Yoshitaka Kitao

Yoshitaka Kitao

“Japan is steadily preparing the groundwork for the full-scale introduction of stablecoins, such as through the revised Payment Services Act implemented in June 2023.

 

Under such circumstances, we are very pleased to have signed a basic agreement for a comprehensive business alliance with Circle, which manages and issues USDC, a stable coin with a market capitalisation of nearly 4 trillion yen and used globally in more than 190 countries, and to have taken the first step toward widespread adoption of stablecoins in Japan,”

said Yoshitaka Kitao, Representative Director, Chairman, President & CEO of SBI Holdings.

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