Circle, the stablecoin issuer behind USD Coin (USDC), has recently partnered with SBI Holdings, a Tokyo-based financial services firm, with the aim of promoting the adoption of USDC and Web3 services in Japan. This strategic collaboration marks a significant milestone for both companies and aligns with the Japanese government’s efforts to regulate stablecoins and promote a transition towards a Web3 economy.
On November 27, Circle announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with SBI Holdings. This agreement sets the foundation for the expansion of USDC into Japan, taking advantage of the revised Payment Services Act that introduced regulations for stablecoins. Circle believes that these new regulations will stimulate the issuance and circulation of stablecoins in Japan, paving the way for a flourishing Web3 economy.
To facilitate the circulation of USDC in Japan, SBI Holdings aims to obtain registration as an electronic payment instruments service, subject to approval by Japanese authorities. Yoshitaka Kitao, CEO and President of SBI Holdings, believes that this registration will be a significant step towards mass adoption of stablecoins in the country. The comprehensive business alliance between Circle and SBI Holdings reflects their shared vision for the future of digital currency in Japan and Asia.
Circle sees this partnership as a milestone in its expansion plan for the Asian region. Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle, expressed excitement about collaborating with SBI towards setting new standards in Japan’s financial sector. In order to provide USDC access and liquidity for Japan-based businesses and users, SBI Shinsei Bank, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, will offer banking services to Circle.
Despite being based in the United States, Circle has witnessed significant adoption of USDC overseas. Jeremy Allaire mentioned in August that 70% of USDC adoption occurs outside of the United States, with Asia leading the way. The demand for safe and transparent digital dollars is also strong in Latin America and Africa. Currently, USDC is the second largest stablecoin globally, with a market cap of $24.6 billion, trailing only behind Tether (USDT), according to CoinGecko.
The partnership between Circle and SBI Holdings represents a significant step towards the widespread adoption of stablecoins and Web3 services in Japan. With SBI Holdings’ extensive financial services expertise and Circle’s industry-leading stablecoin technology, this collaboration is poised to revolutionize the financial landscape in Japan and Asia. As both companies work together to advance the Web3 economy, Japan is likely to become a hub for digital currency innovation and a guiding light for other countries seeking to embrace this transformative technology.