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Circle, the issuer behind the USDC stablecoin, has announced a strategic partnership with SBI Holdings, a major Japanese banking and securities corporation, aiming to increase its footprint in Japan. In a recent statement, Circle revealed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with SBI Holdings, focusing on enhancing the circulation of USDC and promoting the use of stablecoins within Japan.

SBI VC Trade, an affiliate of SBI Holdings, is actively pursuing registration as an electronic payment instruments service provider. This move is part of a broader strategy to introduce and circulate USDC stablecoins in Japan, the world’s third-largest economy which, according to International Monetary Fund estimates, is projected to fall to the fourth position globally this year.

Additionally, SBI Shinsei Bank is set to offer banking services to Circle, facilitating easier access and liquidity of USDC for businesses and users based in Japan. “This will enable USDC access and liquidity for Japan-based businesses and users,” Circle stated.

The partnership also includes SBI Group adopting Circle’s array of Web3 Services solutions, encompassing Programmable Wallet, blockchain infrastructure, and smart contract management tools.

Circle’s CEO and co-founder Jeremy Allaire expressed enthusiasm about the alliance with SBI Holdings, highlighting it as a significant step in Circle’s expansion plans in Japan and the Asia Pacific region. “This 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,” said Jeremy Allaire.

This development follows Japan’s recent revision of the Payment Services Act in June, establishing new regulations for stablecoins, a move motivated by a need to protect investors in the wake of the TerraUSD collapse.

SBI Holdings has been a prominent player in the cryptocurrency sector, having recently formed a partnership with SC Ventures to establish a $100 million crypto fund in the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, in September, cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced its collaboration with a subsidiary of the Japanese bank MUFG to explore the issuance of a new stablecoin pegged to fiat currencies, marking Binance’s re-entry into the Japanese market.