Circle applies for French crypto license as stablecoin issuer expands in Europe

Quick Take

  • The Boston-based firm has applied for a French digital asset service provider license and an electronic money institution license.
  • The applications are part of a European expansion strategy.

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.

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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.


© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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Benjamin Robertson is senior newsletter writer at The Block, based in Oxford. He covers global crypto policy and regulat