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Japan: Nomura, Laser Digital, GMO Tie-Up to Explore JPY, USD Stablecoins

May 27, 2024

Japanese investment banking giant Nomura has tied up with GMO and Laser Digital to explore Japanese yen and US dollar stablecoin issuance in Japan. Via this partnership, the issuance, redemption, and circulation mechanisms of a JPY/USD stablecoin business in Japan will be evaluated. The officially released statement highlighted that this project has the potential to bolster accessibility and innovation within the local financial landscape. Further elaborating on this, Nomura Holdings CEO Kentaro Okuda, said,

“This partnership aims to leverage our track record in stablecoin issuance and expertise in digital assets to provide the highest standard of service in the stablecoin business.”

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Nomura and Laser Digital will chip in more towards crypto trading, asset management, and venture investment. GMO, on the other hand, intends to gravitate towards the technology side.

The proposed partnership also encapsulates the provision of a "Stablecoin-as-a-Service" solution - which means, the companies are looking to assist other companies in issuing stablecoins. The focal points will revolve around blockchain technology integration, backend transactions, and regulatory compliance management.

Why Japan?

Several issuers have been targeting the Japanese market to issue stablecoins. Circle’s Co-Founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire has revealed in the past that his company is looking to launch a stablecoin in the Southeast Asian nation. Even Binance had indicated in H2 2023 that it is looking to launch stablecoins denominated in the yen via its tie-up with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s [MUFG] trust banking arm. On its part, even Japan’s largest bank - MUFG -has been keen on on-boarding firms and making them issue stables via its own blockchain platform, Progmat.

Japan has a long history of cross-border trade, foreign currency transactions, and global commerce. If stablecoins become more widely used for such purposes, Japan could become an extremely large market. According to the Circle executive, that's what is driving issuers this region.

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