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Circle Signs MoU With SBI Holdings to Expand USDC Circulation in Japan

Jai Pratap
Last updated: | 1 min read
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Circle, stablecoin issuer behind USD Coin (USDC), has joined forces with Tokyo-based financial services firm SBI Holdings to facilitate the strategic expansion of USDC into the Japanese market.

This collaboration, solidified through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed on November 27, aims to leverage the evolving regulatory landscape in Japan, particularly the revised Payment Services Act introduced in June, Circle announced today.

The revised act establishes regulations for stablecoins, a move Circle anticipates will stimulate the issuance and circulation of stablecoins in Japan, fostering the country’s transition towards a Web3 economy.

As reported earlier, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire expressed his intention to launch stablecoin in Japan in July this year.

Circle and SBI Holdings Plan on Expanding USDC Adoption

To pave the way for the introduction of USDC into Japan, SBI Holdings is pursuing registration as an electronic payment instruments service, a process contingent on approval by Japanese authorities.

SBI Holdings CEO and President Yoshitaka Kitao views this initiative as a pivotal step towards achieving mass stablecoin adoption in the country. Kitao said:

“Japan is steadily preparing the groundwork for the full-scale introduction of stablecoins [and] we are very pleased to have signed a basic agreement for a comprehensive business alliance with Circle.”

The collaboration also involves SBI Shinsei Bank, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, providing banking services to Circle. This partnership will play a crucial role in enabling USDC access and liquidity for businesses and users based in Japan.

70% of USDC Adoption is Outside of USA

Circle’s CEO, Jeremy Allaire, emphasized the shared vision between Circle and SBI Holdings for the future of digital currency in Japan and Asia. Allaire expressed excitement about the collaboration and its potential to set new standards in the financial sector in Japan.

While Circle is headquartered in the United States, it noted in August that 70% of USDC adoption is occurring overseas, with Asia leading the way. Allaire highlighted the strong demand for “safe, transparent digital dollars” not only in Asia but also in Latin America and Africa.

USDC, currently the second-largest stablecoin behind Tether (USDT), boasts a market cap of $24.6 billion.