Japanese Firm Scores BitLicense in New York for Yen Stablecoin

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In Brief
  • NYDFS grants BitLicense to GMO firm.

  • The Japanese internet company can now issue yen-pegged stablecoins in the state.

  • GMO is the 27th BitLicense recipient.

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The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations building standards of transparency.

Japanese internet firm GMO has obtained approval from regulators in New York to issue a yen-pegged stablecoin.

This makes GMO the 27th BitLicense recipient to be allowed to engage in virtual currency operations in the state.

First Yen-Pegged Stablecoin in New York

According to a press release by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), GMO has been granted a charter to issue Japanese yen (JPY)-pegged stablecoins in the state. Based on the approval, the Tokyo-based firm will also be able to issue and redeem U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoins as well.

Like many Asian conglomerates, GMO has a history of significant involvement in the crypto and blockchain space. Indeed, the approval now adds another chapter to the company’s virtual currency foray with previous enterprises in the mining and trading arena.

Commenting on the license approval, Ken Nakamura, CEO of GMO-Z Trust company remarked:

We’re breaking ground with our move to issue the first regulated JPY-pegged stablecoin, which many see as a safe haven asset. But we are also pioneers and innovators in this space who envision building new applications of blockchain technology that transforms our relationship with traditional financial services.

Apart from numerous crypto and blockchain pursuits, GMO also owns GMO Click, one of the largest forex trading platforms in the world.

New Regulations in 2021

GMO’s BitLicense approval to issue stablecoins in New York is coming amid increasing scrutiny by regulators in major economies. Earlier in December, a proposed legislative piece by some members of the U.S. Congress to regulate stablecoins like banks caused rumblings within the cryptocurrency community.

In Europe, many mainstream finance stakeholders including European Central Bank (ECB) President Lagarde continue to rail against private stablecoins. As previously reported by BeInCrypto, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) called for embedded supervision for stablecoins back in November.

Indeed, the regulatory pushback has seen Facebook water down its ambitious Diem digital currency platform to appease regulators opposed to the project.


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Osato is a reporter at BeInCrypto and Bitcoin believer based in Lagos, Nigeria. When not immersed in the daily happenings in the crypto scene, he can be found watching historical documentaries or trying to beat his Scrabble high score.

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