Japanese IT Giant GMO Confirms Launch of Yen-Backed Stablecoin GYEN in 2019


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Japanese IT giant GMO Internet has confirmed that it plans to launch its yen-backed stablecoin GYEN this year, Cointelegraph Japan reported today, Feb. 12.

The news was revealed during an earnings presentation to investors held today, after GMO released financial results for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2018.

The firm’s founder and CEO, Masatoshi Kumagai, as well as chief financial officer, Masashi Yasuda, answered questions from attendees. Following a question about the firm’s previously announced stablecoin, one of the executive answered:

“Regarding the plan to launch GYEN as announced last year, we plan to issue it in overseas this year.”

The company execs also revealed that the firm has set up a subsidiary and appointed a person responsible for GYEN operations to issue the stablecoin in 2019. The company further noted that it will be able to announce where the stablecoin will be issued shortly.

During the presentation, the GMO execs also told attendees that the firm had closed down one of its Northern Europe mining sites, and that the relocation of another site is expected to be completed by the end of 2019. While the new location is kept confidential by the company, the execs claimed that the local electricity cost “is less than half of that in Northern Europe, which is 7-8 cents per kWh including running costs.” They concluded:

“We believe the relocation will impact our earnings this summer.”

As outlined in GMO’s earnings report for last year, in the last quarter of 2018, the firm reported 2.3 billion Japanese yen (about $20.8 million) in revenue for its cryptocurrency-focused segment.

GMO’s crypto-related earnings from that quarter are over 12 percent lower than those reported for Q3 2018 and nearly 14 percent lower than the revenue reported for Q2 2018.

Still, the amount earned by the company through its cryptocurrency activity — comprised of a cryptocurrency exchange and mining operations — in Q4 2018 is nearly 73 percent higher than the 635 million yen (about $5.7 million) reported in Q1 2018.

However, GMO’s financial results report that its “profit attributable to owners of the parent company” for 2018 was 20.7 billion yen in the negative (about $187 million in losses), compared to a profit of 8 billion yen in 2017.

The reason for this performance, according to the document, is attributed to the “extraordinary loss of JPY 35,385 million related to the cryptocurrency mining business restructuring.”

This statement is in line with a recent monthly disclosure concerning GMO’s in-house crypto mining operations, which reported a steep hit in overall mining revenue. However, as the company explained at the time, even as overall revenue from mining tanked, the firm’s Bitcoin mining rewards consistently increased over time.

As Cointelegraph reported in November, GMO’s third-quarter report for 2018 revealed a “historical performance” of its crypto-related sectors, despite “the harsh external environment.”

In a similar initiative to the GMO’s GYEN coin, South Korea-based fintech firm BxB Inc. launched what is reportedly the first stablecoin backed by the Korean won at the end of January.


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