Circle, FamilyMart, BitoGroup Partner to Introduce New Points Service

Circle has joined forces with Taiwan's second-largest convenience store chain, FamilyMart, and local crypto exchange BitoGroup to introduce a transformative "Points-to-Crypto" service.

Circle has unveiled an exciting partnership with Taiwan's FamilyMart and BitoGroup to introduce a groundbreaking "Points-to-Crypto" service through the FamilyMart app. This innovative service will enable FamilyMart customers to convert their loyalty points into Circle-issued USD Coin (USDC) and withdraw them to their BitoPro wallets, all while incurring zero transaction fees. Circle emphasizes the significance of loyalty points in Taiwan and the potential for widespread cryptocurrency adoption, making this collaboration a significant step towards merging traditional retail with the digital economy.

In related news, Worldcoin, a project with ambitious goals of global financial inclusion, is undergoing a significant shift by phasing out USD Coin (USDC) payments to its Orb Operators, who play a crucial role in the project's development. Instead, these operators will soon be compensated exclusively in Worldcoin's native token, WLD. This transition reflects Worldcoin's commitment to its digital currency ecosystem and its vision for a global digital currency accessible to all. The project's steady growth, as seen in the increasing supply of WLD tokens, underscores its dedication to innovation and financial inclusion.

Circle Partners with FamilyMart and BitoGroup to Introduce Points-to-Crypto Service in Taiwan

United States-based stablecoin issuer Circle has unveiled a groundbreaking partnership with Taiwan's second-largest convenience store chain, FamilyMart, and a prominent local cryptocurrency exchange, BitoGroup. The collaboration, announced in a press release yesterday, promises to revolutionize the loyalty points landscape in Taiwan by introducing a "Points-to-Crypto" service through the FamilyMart app.

This innovative initiative will empower FamilyMart customers to seamlessly convert their hard-earned loyalty points into Circle-issued USDC, a widely recognized and stable digital currency. Through this service, customers can transfer the equivalent of their FamiPoints into their BitoPro wallets, all while incurring zero transaction fees. Circle's press release emphasized the democratizing effect of this service, preventing the depreciation of loyalty points over time and granting more convenient access to cryptocurrencies.

Loyalty points have long played a pivotal role in Taiwan's consumer landscape, and Circle's partnership seeks to tap into this lucrative market. The move is substantiated by data from a 2021 report by the Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC), which revealed that a staggering 87% of Taiwanese consumers actively accumulate loyalty points, with an overwhelming 99% utilizing these points for product redemptions.

FamilyMart, known for its ubiquitous presence in Taiwan, has successfully amassed over 17 million members nationwide in its FamiPoints loyalty program. In parallel, BitoGroup boasts a membership base of approximately 800,000 users, cementing its status as a significant player in the Taiwanese cryptocurrency ecosystem.

The strategic partnership between Circle and FamilyMart marks yet another milestone in Circle's recent expansion efforts into Asian markets. In early October, Circle had announced a similar strategic alliance with, a prominent cryptocurrency exchange and digital wallet provider in the Philippines. These moves underscore Circle's commitment to fostering cryptocurrency adoption across the region and making digital assets more accessible to a broader audience.

The timing of this partnership could not be better as Taiwan edges closer to potentially adopting a comprehensive cryptocurrency regulatory framework. According to reports, Taiwan may witness the first draft of its new cryptocurrency law by the end of November 2023. This development follows the release of industry guidelines for virtual asset service providers by Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission in September this year, indicating a concerted effort by the government to provide regulatory clarity to the burgeoning cryptocurrency market.

With the Points-to-Crypto service poised to become a game-changer in the Taiwanese loyalty points landscape, this collaboration between Circle, FamilyMart, and BitoGroup exemplifies the growing convergence of traditional retail and the digital economy. As cryptocurrency adoption continues to gain momentum worldwide, partnerships like these serve as a testament to the industry's enduring commitment to innovation and customer-centric solutions. Taiwan's cryptocurrency ecosystem is undoubtedly one to watch, as it charts its course into the future of digital finance and commerce.

Worldcoin Initiates Transition to Pay Orb Operators in WLD Token, Phasing Out USDC Payments

Meanwhile, Worldcoin has announced plans to shift away from using USDC to compensate Orb Operators, marking a significant step in the evolution of this ambitious project. Worldcoin's decision, announced on 22 October 2023, signifies a pivotal transition that will see Orb Operators, who scan individuals' irises in exchange for rewards, being paid exclusively in Worldcoin's native token, WLD, starting as early as next month.

Worldcoin's Orb Operators, described as "independent ecosystem participants," have been integral to the project's mission of creating a global, inclusive digital currency accessible to all. Up until now, these operators have received compensation in USDC. However, this paradigm shift reflects Worldcoin's dedication to further developing its unique digital currency ecosystem.

The shift away from USDC payments to WLD tokens is part of what Worldcoin refers to as a "transitional phase." This transition follows the official launch of the project on 24 July this year and began with the initiation of a pilot program on 10 October, wherein select Orb Operators were already being compensated in WLD tokens.

"In November 2023, the Worldcoin Foundation expects that the transition process will be completed such that all Operators will receive WLD going forward," the project stated in an official blog post.

Worldcoin's decision to embrace its native token underscores its belief in the long-term viability and potential of WLD within its ecosystem. This move aligns with the project's broader goal of fostering the adoption of a global digital currency, accessible to individuals across various jurisdictions.

However, it is worth noting that Worldcoin tokens are currently not available to individuals or companies residing in the United States, along with "certain other restricted territories." This restriction is in line with the regulatory landscape surrounding cryptocurrencies and the unique challenges they present within different jurisdictions.

According to data from Worldcoin's official Dune Analytics dashboard, the supply of the WLD token has shown steady growth since the project's launch. The token supply has expanded from approximately 100 million at the time of the project's inception to roughly 134 million. This steady growth reflects the increasing interest and participation in the Worldcoin ecosystem.

Worldcoin's transition to paying Orb Operators exclusively in WLD tokens is indicative of its continued evolution and its dedication to building a global digital currency ecosystem. As the project progresses, it will be closely watched by both cryptocurrency enthusiasts and regulators alike to see how it navigates the complex regulatory landscape while pursuing its mission of financial inclusion through digital innovation.

Price Overview

Data from the cryptocurrency price tracking website CoinStats indicated that USDC was trading at $1 at press time. Meanwhile, the stable coin also recorded a 24-hour trading volume of approximately $8.9 billion.

Price chart for USDC (Source: CoinStats)

USDC had de-pegged from the Dollar briefly over the past 24 hours. Throughout the past day of trading, the stablecoin saw its value dip to $0.997378. However, it has since re-pegged with the fiat currency.