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Circle wins Europe’s first stablecoin license via MiCA

Circle has authorization to market its USDC stablecoin services across Europe under the bloc’s MiCA laws. 

Stablecoin issuer Circle is the first stablecoin company to achieve compliance with the European Union’s (EU) Markets in Crypto Asset (MiCA) policies designed to oversee digital asset business operations. 
Having obtained an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license from French regulators, CEO Jeremy Allaire said Circle Mint France will manage EURC and USDC issuance for European users. 

Stablecoins offer an avenue to trade in and out of cryptocurrencies without suffering from the volatility associated with most digital assets, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Solana (SOL). Assets like Tether’s USDT and USDC are pegged to a sovereign currency, like the U.S. dollar or the euro. 

The development dispelled previous uncertainty surrounding stablecoins in the EU, as MiCA promised to install strict rules on how these assets may be used. For instance, under the bloc’s framework, firms have a daily issuance limit of $215 million in transaction value. 

Is Circle positioned to upend Tether?

Circle’s EMI license and MiCA compliance could prove strategic in claiming European market change and even challenging crypto’s largest stablecoin issuer, Tether. 

Speculation circulated about Tether’s European future after some platforms, like Bitstamp, delisted the firm’s euro-denominated offering, Tether EURT. Uphold also shuttered support for USDT and several other dollar-pegged stabelcoins. 

With a vacuum emerging and Circle claiming the first MiCA stablecoin license, Allaire and his company could flip Tether and USDT as the dominant stablecoin in multiple jurisdictions. The USDC issuer plans to redomicile its legal base from Ireland to the U.S. before an initial public offering (IPO). Looming U.S. stablecoin regulations might further solidify the company as a global stablecoin powerhouse. 

Still, USDC has an uphill road before catching up to Tether in market cap. USDT holds the number one spot with $113 billion to USDC’s $32 billion. At press time, USDC is below its June 2022 peak of around $55 billion. 

USDC all-time/ market cap | Source: CoinGecko



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