In a strategic move toward becoming a publicly-traded company, Circle Internet Financial, the overseer of the stablecoin USDC, has confidentially filed for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO). The Boston-based company, known for managing the issuance and governance of USDC, refrained from disclosing details such as the number of shares to be offered or the proposed price range.
A Confidential Filing
Circle Internet Financial, the entity overseeing the stablecoin USDC, has confidentially submitted documents for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO) with the aim of becoming a publicly-traded company according to a Reuters report. The Boston-based company did not disclose specifics about the number of shares to be offered or the proposed price range.
The IPO, subject to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s review process and influenced by market dynamics, is anticipated to follow the completion of regulatory scrutiny. Circle, previously valued at $9 billion, faced setbacks in a 2022 deal but remains committed to its public listing.
USDC, currently the second-largest stablecoin, has a circulation of approximately $25 billion, backed by cash and cash equivalents. The move comes amid a broader industry slowdown and heightened investor caution, prompting other companies, such as Apex Fintech and Apollo-owned Aspen Insurance, to consider or pursue IPOs.
USDC, a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar, is managed and governed by Circle. The IPO is contingent on the completion of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s review process, taking into account market conditions and other relevant factors.
Intent to Go Public
Previously valued at $9 billion, Circle had planned to go public in 2022 through a special-purpose acquisition company, but the deal was terminated in December 2022. Despite the setback, Circle’s CEO Jeremy Allaire expressed the company’s continued intent to go public.
As the second-largest stablecoin, following Tether, and the seventh-largest cryptocurrency overall, according to CoinGecko, USDC tokens are backed by cash and cash equivalents, including short-term Treasury bonds. Approximately $25 billion worth of USDC tokens are currently in circulation, down from a peak above $56 billion in mid-2022.
The SEC Has Final Say
The crypto industry experienced a slowdown in 2022, marked by a decline in token prices and increased investor caution. High-profile collapses, including that of crypto exchange FTX, contributed to a more conservative environment. In response, Circle announced layoffs in July 2023 and discontinued investments in non-core business areas.
Circle’s decision to pursue a public listing aligns with a broader trend as companies navigate market volatility and high-interest rates. Apex Fintech, a clearing firm, also confidentially filed for a U.S. IPO in December, and Aspen Insurance, owned by Apollo, has expressed intentions to consider a public offering in 2024. The success of Circle’s IPO will depend on the SEC’s review and market conditions. Recent events such as the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs indicate a favorable outlook for cryptocurrency companies such as Circle.