Stablecoin issuer Circle has partnered with SBI Holdings, a Tokyo-based financial services firm, to enhance the adoption of USD Coin (USDC) and Web3 services in Japan, a move that signifies a strategic expansion of USDC into the Asian region.
This comes as a significant move after the Japanese government overhauled the Payment Services Act in June to introduce regulations for stablecoins, a move that Circle believes will “stimulate the issuance and circulation of stablecoins in Japan and advance Japan’s transition towards a Web3 economy.”
In order to initiate the distribution of USDC in Japan, SBI Holdings is currently in the process of registering as an electronic payment instruments service—a step which is awaiting approval by Japanese authorities.
Yoshitaka Kitao, SBI Holdings CEO and President, expressed optimism that this move will be a step towards mass stablecoin adoption in the country and believes that Japan is steadily laying the groundwork for the large-scale introduction of stablecoins.
Jeremy Allaire, Circle’s CEO, states that this partnership indicates a shared vision for the future of digital currency in Japan and Asia and is a significant milestone for Circle as part of its expansion plan into the region.
Circle further plans to work with SBI to promote the adoption of Circle’s full-stack Web3 Services suite, which provides end-to-end development, deployment, and operations platforms for building and operating Web3 applications across blockchains. According to Allaire, the focus areas will be games, culture and consumer entertainment.
Moreover, SBI Shinsei Bank, an SBI subsidiary, will provide banking services to Circle to enable USDC access and liquidity for Japan-based businesses and users. While Circle is based in the United States, 70% of USDC adoption is taking place overseas, with Asia leading the way. Demand for safe, transparent digital dollars is also strong in Latin America and Africa, according to the Circle boss.
The USDC is currently the second-largest stablecoin, just behind Tether (USDT), boasting a market cap of approximately $24.6 billion.