Circle Secures First EU Stablecoin License Under MiCA

As an analyst with a background in fintech and digital currencies, I am thrilled to witness Circle’s latest achievement of becoming the first global stablecoin issuer to secure an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license under the EU’s new Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework. This is a significant milestone for both Circle and the crypto industry as a whole, ushering in a new phase of development for digital currencies as a mainstream infrastructure for payments, finance, and commerce.

Circle, as the initial global stablecoin issuer, has successfully obtained an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license under the European Union’s new Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework. This significant achievement enables Circle to legally provide USDC and EURC crypto tokens to European customers starting July 1st.

In simple terms, with definitive rules set by a major economic powerhouse, stablecoins have been acknowledged as legitimate digital currency equivalents, paving the way for the maturation of the crypto market as a reliable platform for transactions, finance, and business.

Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle, expressed his delight as he observed this significant milestone in the development and acceptance of digital currency. Looking back at Circle’s history, which dates back 11 years, Allaire emphasized the foresight that blockchain technology would allow for the issuance of digitally-represented fiat money on accessible and interconnected public platforms. This innovation has the potential to revolutionize value transfer much like open networks revolutionized information distribution and communication.

Latest Update: @Circle unveils the availability of USDC and EURC for EU residents under new EU stablecoin regulations; making Circle the initial global stablecoin provider to align with MiCA. Commencing July 1st, European customers can access natively issued USDC and EURC directly. (Source: Circle)

— Jeremy Allaire – jda.eth (@jerallaire) July 1, 2024

In order to bring this vision to life, two crucial advancements were required: a substantial progression in the technology behind blockchains and the implementation of novel regulations and legislations on a global scale that facilitate the merging of conventional finance systems with blockchain frameworks.

Circle has been a trailblazer in the crypto industry, securing numerous regulatory approvals as the first company to obtain licenses such as Electronic Money Transmission Licenses in the United States, a BitLicense in New York, and an E-Money Issuance license in the UK. Additionally, Circle was among the pioneers in implementing fiat currencies on public blockchains, initially using Bitcoin for this purpose.

Today, I’m excited to announce that Circle has been granted authorization as an E-Money Issuer by the ACPR in France and approved as a MiCA-compliant E-Money Token issuer for both USDC and EURC. With Circle France now acting as our European headquarters for regulated financial activities, customers based in Europe can easily access USDC and EURC through Circle Mint France.

Circle’s license grants them a significant edge in competing for market dominance within the European Union’s 27-member trading bloc, inhabited by over 450 million people. With a market value of $32 billion, USDC ranks as the second largest stablecoin, lagging behind Tether’s $110 billion USDT. Stablecoins play a crucial role in the digital asset sector, enabling trading on exchanges and increasingly used for transactions and remittances.

Using simple terms: The French regulatory body has approved Circle Mint France to issue two stablecoins – Euro Circular Coin (EURC) and US Dollar Circular Coin (USDC) – pegged to the euro and US dollar respectively. Before the European MiCA regulations, which took effect on June 30, some crypto exchanges had removed euro-backed stablecoins like Tether’s EURT from their platforms.

As a researcher studying MiCA (Markets in Crypto-Assets) regulation, I’ve noticed that the comprehensive approach towards stablecoins was influenced by the impending entry of tech giants, such as Meta’s Diem (formerly Libra), into financial markets. This realization led to five years of intensive policy development in Europe.

Dante Disparte, the head of policy at Circle with experience in the Libra project, expressed a sense of connection to MiCA. He described this relationship as somewhat nurturing, explaining, “MiCA was in part propelled forward by my past experiences and my previous project, Libra Diem.”

Disparte underscored MiCA’s importance for the industry: “MiCA not only validates our sector, but it also signifies its enduring nature. It’s evident that there are no more loopholes, especially in a economy as large as the third-largest in the world. The days of operating from regulatory shelters or in secrecy and expecting unrestricted access to consumers and market players are long gone.”

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2024-07-01 19:32