Circle First Global Stablecoin Issuer to Secure EU’s Crypto Regulatory Approval

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In a landmark event for the evolving world of cryptocurrency, Circle, a leading cryptocurrency firm, has procured registration as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) in France. This strategic move not only validates Circle as a compliant stablecoin issuer but also places it at the forefront of the stringent European Union’s crypto laws.

Detailed in a report by CNBC, the secured license propels Circle as the first global stablecoin issuer to navigate the challenging regulatory labyrinth of the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) framework. This framework symbolizes a pivotal aspect of the EU’s planned cryptocurrency governance, stipulating multifaceted rules and obligations for crypto companies, thereby bolstering investor protection and combating market manipulation.

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Securing its spot under MiCA’s regulatory umbrella ensures that Circle’s USDC and Euro Coin (EURC) tokens successfully meet the stablecoin regulatory obligations set forth by MiCA. In essence, these tokens can now be legally issued within the confines of the European Union.

Simultaneously, Circle has declared plans to expand its Circle Mint service to its French clientele, thus providing them with the ability to mint and redeem Circle’s stablecoins.

Jeremy Allaire, Circle’s co-founder and CEO, expressed immense gratification at the accomplishment, underscoring the company’s ongoing commitment to creating a stable and well-regulated infrastructure for stablecoins. Further stressing on the company’s compliance with MiCA, Allaire described it as a major step toward promoting mainstream acceptance and scalability of digital currency.

The MiCA legislation, which came into force in May 2023, popularly recognized as the world’s first extensive regulatory structure for cryptocurrency operations, recently approved provisions governing stablecoins; enforcing strict controls on trading volumes for certain stablecoins, with a specific focus on those pegged to the US dollar.

As a registered EMI in France, Circle now has the green light to extend its services, including the minting and redemption of USDC via Circle Mint. Using the concept of “passporting” encapsulated in MiCA, Circle can offer services in one EU nation while simultaneously expanding into other markets in the EU bloc.

However, it warrants mention that additional obligations regarding crypto asset service providers under MiCA will come into place by December 30, 2024, with these companies expected to ensure complete compliance by July 2026.

Brought to life through a collaboration between Circle and crypto exchange Coinbase in September 2018, USDC has gone from strength to strength, claiming the title of the second-largest stablecoin globally. As per data from CoinGecko, the circulation of USDC has swelled to a whopping $32.4 billion, outdone only by Tether’s USDT, which remains the largest stablecoin in the world with a circulation of $112.7 billion.

With the current valuation of the total crypto market cap poised at $2.2 trillion, Circle’s achievement marks a remarkable point in the timeline of global cryptocurrency adoption.