Circle partners with SBI to promote USDC adoption in Japan

on Nov 27, 2023
  • Circle and SBI partner to promote USDC curculation and adoption in Japan.
  • The companies' MOU also includes plans for a banking relationship and use of Circle's Web3 Services solutions.
  • The partnership continues Circle's expansion, which includes in Taiwan and the Philippines.

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Circle Internet Financial, the issuer of US dollar-pegged stablecoin USDC, has partnered with Japanese financial services multinational SBI Holdings to expand the adoption of USDC in Japan.

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The two firms announced on Monday that they had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) towards promoting USDC circulation and adoption of Circle’s Web3 Services in Japan.

Circle and SBI will also establish a banking relationship, according to details in the November 27 press release.

Stablecoin adoption in Japan

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Circle’s partnership with SBI comes a few months after Japan released its revised Payment Services Act, highlighting the regulation of stablecoins.

The Revised Payment Services Act released on June 3, 2023 targets stablecoin issuance and circulation in Japan as the country transitions to the Web3 economy. Circle, which had hinted at issuing a stablecoin in Japan in July, will work with with SBI to comply with Japan’s stablecoin regulations as they work together to promote USDC’s circulation and use.

Jeremy Allaire, CEO and co-founder of Circle, commented:

“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 Asia Pacific.”

The Circle CEO also expounded on the partnership via comments on X.

According to details in the press release, USDC circulation will be via SBI VC Trade. The crypto platform is seeking approval as an electronic payment instruments service provider from Japanese regulators.

Meanwhile, SBI Shinsei Bank will become a banking services partner to Circle to provide access and liquidity to the stablecoin for businesses and users across the country.

USDC adoption growing

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The massive partnership also includes SBI Group’s adoption of Circle’s Web3 services solutions. These include the Programmable Wallet, blockchain infrastructure, and smart contract management tools.

Circle’s collaboration with SBI is another milestone for the company, with its footprint across the market expanding in recent months. In June, the company received approval as a Major Payment Institution (MPI) from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

In October, the company joined forces with crypto exchange to promote USDC-denominated remittances in the Philippines. Circle also partnered with BitoPro Exchange and Taiwan FamilyMart App to deliver a new ‘points-to-crypto’ service that allows customers to convert loyalty points to digital currencies.

Recent reports suggested the company was looking to launch an IPO in 2024.

USDC is the second-largest stablecoin by market cap, with $24.6 billion as of November 27. In comparison, Tether’s USDT stands at $88.8 billion.


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