July 15, 2024

Circle Secures Key License in France, Paving the Way for EU Compliance

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Circle, a prominent cryptocurrency firm renowned for its USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin, announced a significant milestone on Monday as it secured an electronic money institution (EMI) license in France. This regulatory approval positions Circle as the first global stablecoin issuer to achieve compliance with the European Union’s stringent Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework.

The EMI license, granted by France’s banking industry regulator, Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), allows Circle to operate as a compliant stablecoin issuer within the EU. Circle emphasized that both its USDC and newly introduced Euro Coin (EURC) tokens will now be issued in accordance with MiCA’s stablecoin regulatory requirements.

Jeremy Allaire, co-founder and CEO of Circle, underscored the significance of this achievement in a statement, stating, “Since our founding, Circle has sought to build durable, compliant, and well-regulated infrastructure for stablecoins.” He added, “Our adherence to MiCA represents one of the most comprehensive crypto regulatory regimes in the world, marking a huge milestone in bringing digital currency into mainstream scale and acceptance.”

Stablecoins like USDC are designed to mitigate the volatility often associated with other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, offering investors a reliable means to transact swiftly without the fluctuating risks. These digital assets are pivotal in facilitating quick trades and transactions, minimizing reliance on traditional fiat currencies held in bank accounts.

MiCA, the EU’s landmark crypto regulatory framework, officially came into force in May 2023, with specific provisions governing stablecoins approved recently. Notably, these measures include stringent limitations on the volume and value of transactions for non-euro-denominated stablecoins used as a “means of exchange.” Circle’s compliance with MiCA not only allows it to operate in France but also enables it to “passport” its services throughout the entire European Union, leveraging regulatory harmonization across member states.

Looking ahead, additional MiCA obligations concerning crypto asset service providers are set to become enforceable by December 30, 2024, with full compliance required by July 2026. Circle, established in 2018 through a partnership between Circle and Coinbase, has rapidly grown USDC into the world’s second-largest stablecoin by circulation, currently valued at $32.4 billion, according to CoinGecko data.

With this latest regulatory approval, Circle stands poised to further expand its influence in the global digital currency landscape, solidifying its role as a pioneer in compliant stablecoin issuance under rigorous EU standards.

For more updates on Circle’s regulatory advancements and the evolving crypto regulatory landscape, stay tuned to our coverage.

Digital Assets Desk

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