Stablecoin issuer Circle has applied for a French crypto asset license as part of a wider growth strategy for Europe.
The Boston-based firm filed separate applications to be a registered digital asset service provider and a licensed electronic money institution, Circle said in a statement. A successful registration will mean Circle can offer its products to customers in France, and "onshore" its euro-backed stablecoin EUROC, the statement said.
“We are excited to kick our European growth strategy into high-gear with this application,'' said Jeremy Allaire, co-founder and CEO of Circle.
France recently tightened its crypto licensing rules ahead of the introduction next year of a European Union-wide digital assets framework called Markets in Crypto-Assets. Circle already holds licenses from various U.S. states and in Singapore and is best known for its dollar-backed USDC stablecoin.
Circle's model was tested recently after USDC de-pegged from the dollar due to some of the stablecoin's reserves being parked at Silicon Valley Bank as it headed for collapse. Had the government not backstopped all deposits at the struggling lender there was a risk that Circle and other account holders would have taken a haircut.
Circle senior policy specialist Tarleton Watkins recently told a conference at the Warwick Business School that one solution would be for stablecoin reserves to be parked at central banks using a central bank digital currency as the backing instrument.
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