Circle becomes first stablecoin issuer to secure regulatory approval under MiCA

Circle becomes first stablecoin issuer to secure regulatory approval under MiCA

Circle announced on July 1 that it has received an e-money license from France, positioning it as the first global stablecoin issuer to comply with the EU’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulations.

The license, issued by France’s financial regulator, the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), allows Circle to issue its stablecoins USDC and Euro Coin (EURC) across the EU under the new regulatory framework, effective immediately.

Circle co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire said:

“Achieving MiCA compliance is a monumental step for Circle as we continue to build robust and regulated infrastructure for digital currencies. This milestone brings us closer to integrating digital currency into mainstream financial systems.”

Stablecoins, which are cryptocurrencies pegged to fiat currencies like the US dollar, allow investors to avoid the volatility typical of other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. They also enable quick transitions in and out of crypto investments without relying on fiat currency in bank accounts.

The MiCA legislation is the first comprehensive legal framework in the EU that governs crypto operations. It includes specific provisions to protect investors and prevent market manipulation.

The remaining MiCA provisions, which pertain to crypto asset service providers, will come into effect by the end of December 2024. Companies will have until July 2026 to ensure full compliance with these regulations.

Notably, MiCA’s stablecoin rules, finalized last week, limit the daily transaction volume of non-euro stablecoins to a maximum of 1 million transactions or 200 million euros ($215.2 million).

With its new status as a France-registered electronic money institution, Circle can now offer its stablecoin services across the European Union. MiCA’s “passporting” feature allows crypto firms registered in one EU country to operate in other member states, facilitating broader market access.

Circle, established in 2018 and known for its USDC stablecoin, has grown significantly, with USDC becoming the second-largest stablecoin worldwide.

Based on CryptoSlate data, there is currently $32.4 billion worth of USDC tokens in circulation, making it second only to Tether’s USDT, which has $112.7 billion in circulation.

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