Circle Files for U.S. IPO to Bring Stablecoin USDC to Public Markets

Boston-based Circle Internet Financial, the driving force behind the widely-used stablecoin USDC, has confidentially filed for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) on Thursday. The move marks the company’s renewed effort to become a publicly-traded entity after the termination of a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal in December 2022.

While Circle has yet to disclose the number of shares it plans to sell or the proposed price range for the IPO, it emphasized its commitment to bringing USDC to the public markets. The cryptocurrency, pegged to the U.S. dollar, holds the position of the second-largest stablecoin with a market cap of around $25 billion, trailing behind Tether with a market cap of approximately $95 billion, according to CoinMarketCap data.

This comes months after crypto pundit @RhoRider shared a controversial revelation regarding the popular stablecoin, exposing concerning clauses in the terms of service for both Coinbase and Circle, thereby raising significant doubts about the stability and reliability of USDC.

Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire expressed disappointment over the failed SPAC deal, stating that the proposed transaction “timed out.” Despite the setback, Allaire affirmed the company’s determination to go public, a sentiment reiterated in the recent IPO filing.

The company’s IPO is expected to proceed once the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) completes its review process, contingent upon market and other conditions.

In 2022, Circle had initially valued itself at $9 billion during negotiations for the SPAC deal. However, the deal fell through, and the company experienced a turbulent period in the crypto industry downturn, marked by layoffs in July 2023 and divestment from non-core business areas.

USDC, the stablecoin managed by Circle, has faced fluctuations in circulation, witnessing a decrease from a peak of over $56 billion in mid-2022 to approximately $25 billion. This decline mirrored the broader trend in the crypto industry, where token prices plummeted amid investor caution and the collapse of high-profile crypto firms, including FTX.

Circle’s decision to go public aligns with recent trends in the financial industry, as other companies explore similar moves. Clearing firm Apex Fintech filed for a U.S. IPO in December, while Apollo-owned Aspen Insurance is contemplating a public offering in 2024.

This development from Circle comes on the heels of the SEC’s approval of spot bitcoin ETFs, indicating a potential shift in regulatory sentiment towards cryptocurrency-related financial instruments.

The IPO filing signals Circle’s determination to bring its stablecoin operations into the public domain and mirrors the trajectory of other notable players in the crypto space, such as Coinbase, which went public in April 2021 with a valuation of $85.8 billion on Nasdaq.

Information for this story was found via Reuters, CoinDesk, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply