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Japan’s Nomura bank announces new stablecoin project

Japanese financial services giant Nomura Holdings has announced a new partnership with the GMO Internet Group to explore stablecoins backed by Japanese yen and U.S. dollar.

The partnership will also involve Laser Digital, Nomura’s digital asset subsidiary. It will rely on Trust Company, a subsidiary of the GMO Internet Group, which issues stablecoins on major blockchain networks. GMO-Z is licensed in New York by the state’s Department of Financial Services.

The companies will explore issuing and redeeming JPY and USD stablecoins and a stablecoin-as-a-service solution to help other companies easily issue stablecoins in Japan. This solution will include managing regulatory compliance, integrating blockchain technology, and managing backend transactions.

Commenting on the partnership, GMO Internet Group CEO Masatoshi Kumagai said that Nomura will play a critical role in sparking stablecoin adoption in Japan, leveraging its infrastructure, heritage, and experience in the digital assets industry.

GMO provides internet infrastructure spanning domain registration, security, payments, online advertising, media, and, most recently, digital assets.

“We’re excited to explore this project and the ‘stablecoin-as-a-service’ solution. As the digital asset landscape evolves, the development of a stablecoin for use in the Japanese market will be key to expanding the accessibility and adoption of digital assets in Japan and beyond,” Laser Digital chairman Steve Ashley commented.

Nomura joins other Japanese giants in the race to lead the country’s stablecoin market, including electronics behemoth Sony (NASDAQ: SONY) and Japan’s largest bank, MUFG (NASDAQ: MUFG); other major banks like Sumitomo Mitsui Trust (NASDAQ: SUTNY) and Mizuho (NASDAQ: MFG) have also invested in stablecoin research. Two months ago, Hokkoku Bank issued the country’s first stablecoin backed by bank deposits.

Stablecoins might have a bigger role in Japan than in most developed economies, as central bank digital currency (CBDC) development lags behind most of its peers. A March study by the central bank found that only 3% of the citizens are aware of CBDCs.

Japan has always been a leader in regulating digital assets, and stablecoins are no different. The East Asian nation has a framework that allows only licensed financial institutions to issue stablecoins to protect users.

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