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Circle, the entity issuing the USDC stablecoin, has announced a partnership with Japanese securities and banking giant SBI Holdings in a bid to boost USDC circulation in Japan.
The agreement was made in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and requires SBI Holdings to register as an electronic payment services provider in Japan.
Circle Looks To Boost USDC Adoption
Circle announced in a press release that it had completed a memorandum of understanding with SBI Holdings on the 27th of November. The MOU would underpin the strategic expansion of USDC into Japan. The announcement from Circle comes after the Japanese government announced the revised Payments Services Act in June, establishing stablecoins regulations. Circle believes the revised act will help stimulate the issuance and circulation of stablecoins in Japan and hasten the country’s transition into a Web3 economy.
“SBI Holdings, Inc. (Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, Chairman, President & CEO Yoshitaka Kitao; hereinafter “the Company”) hereby announces that it has concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (hereinafter “the MOU”) with Circle Internet Financial to circulate USDC stablecoins, establish a banking relationship and promote the use of Circle’s Web3 Services in Japan.”
To begin USDC circulation in Japan, SBI Holdings will have to register as an electronic payment instrument service. The registration will be subject to approval by Japanese regulatory authorities. Yoshitaka Kitao, CEO and president of SBI Holdings has stated that he hopes the partnership could act as a catalyst for the mass adoption of stablecoins in Japan.
“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 and to have taken the first step toward widespread adoption of stablecoins in Japan.”
A Shared Vision
Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire was upbeat about the partnership with SBI Holdings, stating that the partnership was a representation of a shared vision for the future of digital currency in Japan and Asia and is a milestone for Circle as it looks to expand in the region, especially Japan. He further added that Circle will work with SBI Holdings to promote the adoption of Circle’s full-stack Web3 services suite. Circle’s Web3 services suite provides end-to-end development, deployment, and operations platforms to build and operate Web3 apps across blockchains.
“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 the Asia Pacific. We are excited to collaborate with SBI towards setting new standards in the financial sector in Japan.”
SBI Shinsei Bank, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, will provide banking services to Circle, allowing users and businesses based in Japan to access USDC and liquidity.
“SBI Shinsei Bank, Limited will also provide banking services to Circle. This will enable USDC access and liquidity for Japan-based businesses and users. Moreover, as part of SBI Group’s digital asset portfolio strategy, SBI Group will also adopt Circle’s Web3 Services solutions such as Programmable Wallet, blockchain infrastructure, and smart contract management tools.”
Circle is based in the United States of America, but according to Allaire, 70% of all USDC adoption takes place overseas, with Asia leading the race. In August, The Circle boss stated that demand for safe, transparent digital dollars is also strong in regions such as Africa and Latin America. USDC is the second-largest stablecoin, behind only Tether, and has a market capitalization of over $24 billion, according to data from CoinGecko.
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