USDC stablecoin issuer Circle confidentially files for IPO in the US

The company stated that going public will occur once the SEC finishes its review.

USDC stablecoin issuer Circle confidentially files for IPO in the US

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Stablecoin issuer Circle Internet Financial has disclosed today that it has confidentially filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in the US to become a publicly traded company, according to an official press release.

Circle filed a preliminary registration statement on Form S-1 with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Notably, Circle did not disclose the number of shares it plans to sell. The firm also did not specify a proposed price range for its new IPO filing, claiming that this has yet to be determined.

Headquartered in Boston, Circle operates and controls the issuance and governance of USDC, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, initially released on September 26, 2018, through a joint venture firm called Centre Consortium, a collaboration between Circle and Coinbase. The issuer has since closed the Centre Consortium in August 2023, giving Circle sole governance over USDC.

The company stated that the IPO will occur once the SEC finishes its review, taking into account market conditions and other factors.

In a 2022 deal, the company had previously stated a valuation of $9 billion for its planned public offering through a special-purpose acquisition company. However, the deal was terminated in December 2022 due to SEC scrutiny. Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire expressed his disappointment at the transaction’s “timing out” while affirming the company’s continued intention to pursue a public listing.

According to data from CoinGecko, USDC is ranked as the second-largest stablecoin and the seventh-largest cryptocurrency overall by market capitalization. These tokens are backed by cash and cash equivalents, which include short-term Treasury bonds.

CoinGecko indicates that the circulating supply of USDC tokens has decreased to approximately $25 billion from its peak of nearly $56 billion in mid-2022.

Following a phase of rapid expansion, the crypto industry experienced a downturn in 2022. As investor caution grew, token prices plummeted, and several prominent crypto companies, including FTX, faced collapse. 

Circle’s decision to go public comes after the prolonged slowdown in negotiations and discussions between deal makers due to elevated interest rates and general market volatility as a result of the FTX collapse.

On March 11, 2023, USDC experienced a detachment from its peg to the dollar following Circle’s confirmation that $3.3 billion, representing roughly 8% of its reserves, was jeopardized due to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, which had taken place the day before. USDC managed to restore its peg to the dollar four days later.

Perhaps as an implication of these difficulties, Circle announced in July 2023 that it has decided to downscale its workforce and discontinue investments in non-core business areas.

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