SBI Holdings, Inc., a leading Tokyo-based financial services firm, has announced its strategic partnership with Circle Internet Financial, the USD Coin (USDC) issuer.
This collaboration aims to increase the circulation of USDC and promote the use of Circle’s cutting-edge Web3 services in Japan while establishing a banking relationship.
SBI and Circle’s Partnership
This agreement, formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), paves the way for enhanced adoption of USDC and innovative Web3 services across Japan.
Jeremy Allaire, CEO and co-founder of Circle, expressed enthusiasm about this partnership, stating, “Our collaboration with SBI sets new standards in Japan’s financial sector. We are united in our vision for the future of digital currency.”
Circle and SBI Holdings are joining forces to boost $USDC circulation and transform the financial landscape in Japan with $USDC and Web3 Services! This partnership signifies a major leap in digital asset innovation and a strategic expansion for $USDC in Asia.
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— Circle (@circle) November 27, 2023
Yoshitaka Kitao, Representative Director, Chairman, President & CEO of SBI Holdings, echoed these sentiments, highlighting Japan’s readiness for stablecoins’ full-scale introduction.
“The signing of this comprehensive business alliance with Circle is a decisive step towards the widespread adoption of stablecoins in Japan. With USDC’s global usage and substantial market capitalization, we are committed to exploring new financial possibilities using stablecoins,” Kitao stated.
The MOU outlines the collaborative efforts of SBI Holdings and Circle towards the circulation of USDC in Japan. A key aspect of this partnership involves SBI VC Trade Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, seeking registration as an electronic payment instruments service provider in Japan, a necessary step subject to regulatory approval.
Furthering this alliance, SBI Shinsei Bank, another subsidiary of SBI Holdings, will provide essential banking services to Circle. This will facilitate access to USDC and enhance its liquidity for businesses and individual users in Japan.
SBI Holdings also plans to integrate Circle’s comprehensive Web3 services, including Programmable Wallets, blockchain infrastructure, and smart contract management tools, into its digital asset strategy.
Japan’s Steps Towards a Web3-based Economy
This initiative follows the Japanese government’s proactive approach to regulating digital assets, marked by revising the Payment Services Act on June 3, 2023. This legislation paves the way for the regulated issuance and circulation of stablecoins, advancing Japan’s ambitious transition towards a Web3-based economy.
The Act specifically focuses on “collateralized” stablecoins supported by legal tender, aligning with Circle’s USDC, fully backed by highly liquid cash and cash-equivalent assets, ensuring its stability and reliability.
USDC reserves are also maintained separately from Circle’s operational funds and secured at leading financial institutions for the benefit of its holders. As of November 17, 2023, USDC has witnessed $12.7 trillion in on-chain transactions, further highlighting its global influence and reliability.
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