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ZUSD is a fiat-backed stablecoin that tracks the price of the US dollar (USD) and is issued by Japan’s GMO-Z.com Trust Company.
What is ZUSD?

Stablecoins have become a vital part of the cryptocurrency and decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystems. These digital tokens match the price of other assets like fiat currencies. Historically, the most-used fiat stablecoins have been pegged to (or track) the US dollar. This includes USDT, USDC Historically, the most-used fiat stablecoins have been pegged to (or track) the US dollar. This includes USDT, USDC, and DAI.

GMO-Z.com is responsible for the standardized creation and redemption of ZUSD for its customers and facilitates the exchange between US dollar and ZUSD, while assuring that every ZUSD is backed 1-to-1 by U.S. Dollars.

How was ZUSD developed?

ZUSD’s issuer, GMO-Z.com Trust Company, otherwise known as GMO Trust, is a subsidiary of GMO Internet Group Inc. (“GMO”). The parent company was founded in 1991 and launched its internet operations in 1995. GMO’s more than 106 companies span sectors like internet infrastructure, multi-media, and financial ventures. GMO Trust was incorporated in New York in December 2020 and is regulated by the state’s Department of Financial Services. The Trust’s approval gave the green light to both ZUSD and the Japanese Yen-pegged GYEN stablecoin.

ZUSD was officially launched in March 2021 and was introduced to the market alongside GYEN. Within days, the company announced that it was partnering with crypto exchange Liquid to create a fully synthetic USD/JPY pair by using its stablecoins. GMO trust continues to build partnerships with platforms (e.g. Anchorage Digital) to offer ZUSD and GYEN to both private and institutional clients.

GMO Trust is led by Ken Nakamura, who worked briefly for Napster before beginning a long career at GMO Internet Inc. in 2008. He worked for multiple divisions/subsidiaries within the parent company before being named CEO of GMO-Z.com in 2020.

How does ZUSD work?

ZUSD was designed as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain. However, it has since been expanded to other chains such as Solana and Stellar. Like other stablecoins, it is intended to be used as a store of value, for payments and peer-to-peer exchange, and as a trading partner for other digital assets.

A major focus of GMO Trust’s operations is garnering their customers’ confidence and conforming to regulations. This means that users must create an account with GMO Trust and perform Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures to confirm their identities. Afterwards, customers can deposit US dollars (USD) into a custody account, and GMO Trust issues (mints) an equivalent amount of ZUSD and deposits it into the customer’s crypto wallet. To reverse the process, customers send their ZUSD to a smart contract that burns (destroys) the tokens, and they receive their USD in return. This process ensures that each ZUSD is backed 1:1 by dollars, making it a fiat-backed (or reserve-backed) stablecoin.

All fiat deposits are held at FDIC-insured banking institutions or as SIPC-insured assets. But of course like with any crypto assets they can experience periods of volatility and other risks. This ensures that if there is a loss of funds for whatever reason, customer deposits are insured, and they can be made whole. GMO Trust also publishes monthly attestation reports from an independent auditor, which detail the assets that back all ZUSD issued.


  • ZUSD is a fiat-backed, US dollar-pegged stablecoin issued by the GMO-Z.com Trust Company.
  • As a multichain stablecoin, ZUSD gives GMO Trust’s customers digital exposure to the US dollar, like other tokens like USDT and USDC.
  • GMO Trust touts a focus on regulation and trustworthiness, emphasizing KYC/AML procedures and regular audits to engender confidence in its ZUSD product.

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