Circle Internet Financial, the issuer of USDC stablecoin, is planning to apply for a crypto bank license in the US in the near future.
According to co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire, the company has been in talks with regulators on the issue since August 2021, when it first revealed plans to convert into a bank, a Bloomberg report said on Wednesday. Allaire said the firm will apply “hopefully in the near future.”
The Circle management has been in talks with the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on a range of issues relating to its bank plans, including the interoperability of blockchains and how operational risks can be assessed in specific blockchains, Allaire told Bloomberg.
In Line with Regulators’ Call
In recent months, US watchdogs have called for greater regulation of stablecoins, arguing that they should be issued by banks. If Circle’s plans to become a bank become a reality, it would mean a smoother run for both USDC and the company with the regulators in the US market.
Circle’s intentions to transform into a crypto bank follow the footsteps of Anchorage Digital, Protego Trust Bank NA, and Paxos Trust Company which have received federal charters to operate as such entities in the US.
Circle Raises $400 Million in Funding Round
On April 12, Circle announced that it raised $400 million in a funding round participated by major finance firms, including Blackrock, Marshall Wace, Fidelity, and Fin Capital.
In addition to the funding, Circle and BlackRock also inked a strategic partnership where the two companies would explore applications for “USDC in capital markets.”
“As part of their partnership, both companies will expand their existing relationship whereby Blackrock manages significant asset reserves that are backing USDC,” CryptoPotato reported.
In February, Circle announced a deal with Concord Acquisition Corp, an NYSE-listed special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), at a valuation of $9 billion, double from $4.5 billion in July 2021. At that time, the firm also revealed plans to go public by the end of 2022.
Founded in 2013, Circle’s USDC is the second-largest stablecoin with a market cap of a little over $50 billion. It’s also the fifth-largest cryptocurrency.