Circle wants to become a bank so it relies less on third party partners

Circle — the fintech company behind stablecoin US dollar coin (USDC) — dropped a regulatory filing Monday morning that reveals its ambitions to become a U.S. national bank. 

Circle, which is set to go public via a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), told The Block in a message that it "intends to become a full-reserve national commercial bank, operating under the supervision and risk management requirements of the Federal Reserve, US Treasury and OCC, and the FDIC."

In the new S-4 filing, the firm said that a banking framework could reduce the risks around its business, including its reliance on third-party payment systems. 

"Our ability to offer our core API services depends on our ability to maintain existing sponsorship relations and to seek out and obtain new sponsorship relationships," the filing said. 

Rival Paxos — which has its own stablecoin offering — received conditional approval from the OCC for a national trust banking license.  

“We believe that full-reserve banking, built on digital currency technology, can lead to not just a radically more efficient, but also a safer, more resilient financial system,” said Circle's chief executive officer Jeremy Allaire said in an emailed statement.