Circle’s USDC is the first stablecoin regulated in Europe under MiCA

USDC
BRAZIL - 2022/03/19: In this photo illustration, a woman holds a smartphone with the USD Coin (USDC) logo displayed on the screen. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
  • Circle claims to be the first stablecoin issuer permitted in Europe under the MiCA framework
  • The company behind USDC has obtained an electronic money institution license in France 
  • The stablecoin regulation included in MiCA came into effect yesterday, June 30, 2024

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Circle, the stablecoin issuer behind USDC, claims to have become the first entity of its kind to secure a license under Europe’s new regulations.

In a statement on Monday, the company said it has secured an electronic money institution (EMI) license from the French banking regulatory authority that makes it a stablecoin issuer that complies with the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA), the European Union’s strict regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.

The authorization was provided by the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR) of France and means that from now on, Circle‘s USDC and EURC tokens are issued in compliance with the regulatory obligations posed by MiCA. As a result, customers in the 27-nation trading bloc can access the company’s products.

Since our founding, Circle has sought to build a durable, compliant, and well-regulated infrastructure for stablecoins, and our accession to MiCA, which represents one of the most comprehensive cryptocurrency regulatory regimes in the world, is a major milestone,” said Jeremy Allaire, co-founder and CEO of Circle.

Circle is known for operating USDC, the second-largest stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, with a market cap of $32 billion. It also issues EURC, pegged to the euro.

The news comes a day after the stablecoin provision included in MiCA came into effect yesterday.

Among the measures, limitations are imposed on the volume of transactions that can be carried out with certain stablecoins, in particular those denominated in US dollars. The regulation also introduces control, compliance and reserve transparency requirements for issuers.

MiCA became law in 2023 after European lawmakers spent three years developing cryptocurrency-specific regulation. Taking a comprehensive approach, the framework covers cryptocurrency companies such as issuers, exchanges and wallet providers, and introduces a licensing system between all members of the block.

Before the rules went into effect on June 30, several cryptocurrency exchanges delisted some stablecoins, including Tether‘s USDT, the world’s largest by market capitalization.

Dante Disparte, Chief Strategy Officer and Global Policy Officer at Circle, called the company’s French license a significant development, not only for Circle, but for “the entire digital financial ecosystem in Europe and beyond.”