SBI Holdings, led by Yoshitaka Kitao, is a significant financial services company based in Tokyo, Japan. Established in 1999, it has evolved into a conglomerate with diverse financial services, showing keen interest and investments in fintech and blockchain. The partnership is not unfamiliar territory for SBI, given its robust business relationship with Ripple in the development and promotion of blockchain-based payment technology in Asia.
Circle, a global fintech firm founded in 2013, is renowned for its contributions to the cryptocurrency space, including the co-creation of USD Coin (USDC), the world's largest regulated stablecoin. Circle focuses on blockchain-based financial services, and its collaboration with SBI aims to integrate USDC into Japan's financial ecosystem and promote Circle’s Web3 Services.
The backdrop to this partnership is the Japanese government's forward-thinking revision of the Payment Services Act on June 3, 2023. The amended regulations set the stage for the regulated issuance and circulation of stablecoins, aligning with Japan's trajectory toward a Web3 economy.