Japanese internet giant GMO Internet has announced that it will launch a stablecoin pegged to the yen next year.
According to the founder and president of GMO Internet, Masatoshi Kumagaii, the stablecoin which will be known as GMO Japanese Yen (GJY) will be issued in Asia. It is expected that the assets backing the stablecoin will be stored in Japan where the tech firm already has banking licenses.
Besides aiding GMO Internet in branching into the remittance and settlement business, the yen-pegged stablecoin will be instrumental in helping the tech conglomerate settle transactions for its other business including the cryptocurrency mining farms that it operates. Other than the crypto mining arm of the business which began operations last year in December, GMO Internet also makes cryptocurrency mining hardware. Additionally, GMO Internet also runs a cryptocurrency exchange which was launched in May 2017.
The announcement by GMO Internet comes at a time when the number of stablecoins is growing. While Tether is still the dominant stablecoin globally, GMO Internet estimates that the number of stabelcoins currently stands at around 57 with 23 of them already in circulation.
One of the newest stablecoins on the market is the USD Coin (USDC), developed by Circle, a cryptocurrency and blockchain technology startup. Pegged to the U.S. dollar, the USDC had bagged the support of 30 partners at the time of the launch and this included cryptocurrency exchanges. Leading cryptocurrency wallet services such as Ledger, BitGo and Coinbase also announced native support for the stablecoin.
While lauding the development, Circle’s co-founders, Sean Neville and Jeremy Allaire, compared the transformative impact of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies to the internet:
“Just as HTTPS, SMTP and SIP enabled free borderless information sharing and communications, crypto assets and blockchain technology will enable us to exchange value and transact with one another in a similar way: instantly, globally, securely and at low cost.”
In the same month Australian cryptocurrency exchange Bit Trade and blockchain employment platform, Emparta, had announced a partnership aimed at developing an Australian dollar-pegged stablecoin which will be unveiled in 2019.
Still, in September, Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange started by the Winklevoss twins unveiled the Gemini dollar (GUSD), announced a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar. And in July a San Francisco, California-based financial institution, Stronghold, revealed that it had developed a stablecoin pegged to the dollar. Unlike most other stablecoins which exist on the Ethereum blockchain, Stronghold’s stabelcoin was built on the Stellar network.
Other firms which are working on stablecoins include a16z, a startup that has received venture funding from Silicon Valley legend Andreessen Horowitz, among others. Paxos, an institutional cryptocurrency exchange operator, also recently got the greenlight from the New York Department of Financial Services to release a US dollar-pegged stablecoin tentatively named the Paxos Standard.
Featured image from Shutterstock.