Stablecoin Issuer Circle Terminates Consumer Account Support
In a statement on its website, the company wrote, “Consumer-only Circle Mint accounts will no longer be supported and will be closed. No further action is required from the account holders in this matter.”
With this move, customers who have been minting Circle stablecoins such as USDC and EURC will have to resort to other platforms.
Individuals will still be able to purchase USDC via brokerages, crypto exchanges and digital asset wallet services, a Circle spokesperson told Cryptonews.
“Circle is phasing out support for legacy consumer accounts and has notified individual consumers of this decision,” the spokesperson said. “Account closures do not apply to business or institutional Circle Mint accounts.”
On Tuesday, Circle sent out an email about the end of support to consumer accounts with zero balances.
Screenshots of the email sent to consumer accounts were reposted on the social media platform X by user @Evan_ss6. In the email, the company noted that the decision to stop supporting consumer accounts was taken after conducting a “strategic review”, adding that wiring and minting functionalities will be discontinued and that the user’s account would be closed on November 30th.
Circle’s biggest rival, Tether, still supports individual consumer accounts, but with a minimum limit of $100,000.
Tether is currently the largest stablecoin issuer in the market, with a total supply of around $84 billion for its USDT token. Circle is the 2nd largest issuer, with a total supply of about $27 billion for USDC, according to The Block’s Data Dashboard.
Circle has faced issues in the past year, losing market share and customers to Tether as a result of the collapse of FTX and the Silicon Valley Bank failure.
The company had $3.3 billion of assets backing USDC deposited at SVB. When the bank failed in March 2023, Circle’s funds were frozen by federal regulators, leading to an investor panic and prompting traders to shift funds from USDC to Tether’s USDT.
Circle received another blow in August, when PayPal announced its new cryptocurrency PayPal USD (PYUSD), becoming the first major U.S. financial company to launch its own USD-backed stablecoin.
Last week, Circle announced that it would soon offer a loyalty points to stablecoin conversion service in Taiwan.
The company is collaborating with two Taiwanese firms – crypto exchange BitoGroup and convenience store chain Taiwan FamilyMart – to launch its ‘Points-to-Crypto’ service.
According to a press release published on October 26th, the collaboration will allow users to convert their FamilyMart loyalty points to cryptocurrencies like Circle’s USDC. The statement confirmed that the service will not require any transaction fees and will also stop loyalty points from losing value over time.