Nomura, Laser Digital, and GMO Internet Join Forces to Pioneer Stablecoin Issuance in Japan

GMO Internet Group, Inc., Nomura Holdings, Inc., and Laser Digital Holdings AG have announced a strategic partnership to explore the issuance and operational mechanisms of Japanese yen (JPY) and U.S. dollar (USD) stablecoins in Japan. This collaboration aims to revolutionize the financial landscape by enhancing digital asset accessibility and fostering innovation within the country’s financial sector.

The joint venture brings together the robust capabilities of GMO Internet Group, a leader in internet infrastructure and fintech services, and Nomura’s extensive expertise in financial services and digital asset management. GMO Internet Group’s U.S. subsidiary, Trust Company, already issues stablecoins like GYEN and ZUSD on major blockchain platforms such as Ethereum, Stellar, and Solana under the regulatory framework of the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). This experience provides a solid foundation for the new initiative in Japan.

Stablecoins, digital assets pegged 1:1 to fiat currencies like the JPY and USD, offer the stability of traditional currencies combined with the efficiency of blockchain technology. They enable faster, cheaper, and more transparent transactions, which are critical in today’s fast-paced financial markets. The stability of these digital currencies, ensured by backing them with actual fiat reserves, makes them a reliable medium for various financial transactions.

The partnership will focus on developing a comprehensive “Stablecoin-as-a-Service” platform. This platform will support companies in issuing stablecoins by offering regulatory compliance management, blockchain integration, and backend transaction management. This initiative aims to create a seamless and secure infrastructure for stablecoin issuance and circulation, thus enhancing the adoption of digital assets in Japan.

Kentaro Okuda, President and Group CEO of Nomura Holdings, emphasized the transformative potential of this project, stating, “Stablecoins will inevitably play an important part in financial markets. This project has the potential to greatly enhance digital asset accessibility and innovation in the Japanese financial landscape.” Steve Ashley, Executive Chairman of Laser Digital, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the importance of developing a stablecoin for use in Japan to expand digital asset accessibility and adoption.

Japan’s regulatory environment for stablecoins has been evolving rapidly. In 2022, the Japanese government passed legislation to establish a clear and robust regulatory framework for stablecoins, classifying them as non-securities and requiring issuers to register with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). This regulatory clarity provides a conducive environment for stablecoin initiatives, ensuring they are backed by actual fiat reserves and meet stringent compliance standards.

The introduction of stablecoins in Japan is expected to facilitate on-chain financial transactions, especially in the absence of a wholesale central bank digital currency (CBDC). Stablecoins can provide the necessary infrastructure for settling transactions in tokenized securities and other digital assets, thereby enhancing liquidity and market efficiency.