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USDC Issuer Circle Set to Turn Into Full-Reserve National Commercial Bank

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 2 min read

US-based crypto company Circle, the issuer of the second-most popular stablecoin USD Coin (USDC), said it’s on a journey towards becoming “a national digital currency bank.”

Jeremy Allaire. Source: a video screenshot, Youtube, IMF

Per today’s post by the company’s CEO Jeremy Allaire, in their founding documents, Circle “envisioned that we could build a global digital currency bank, one that enabled frictionless, instant and nearly free payments that combined fiat reserve currencies with open, permissionless blockchains, and eventually building on these open networks to support new forms of capital formation and intermediation.”

Allaire noted that the capabilities of digital currency and blockchain infrastructure have evolved “tremendously” over the past eight years specifically, while “their long-term positive impact on the world [becoming] increasingly palpable” is reflected in what the CEO described as “heightened engagement with leading financial regulators around the world.”

That said, Circle, in partnership with crypto exchange Coinbase, designed USDC to conform with the US money transmission supervisory and regulatory standards.

USDC is now at more than USD 27.5bn in circulation, he added, stating that Circle is setting out to become a US Federally-chartered national commercial bank, saying:

“Circle intends to become a full-reserve national commercial bank, operating under the supervision and risk management requirements of the Federal Reserve, US Treasury, OCC [Office of the Comptroller of the Currency], and the FDIC [Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation]. 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.”

Per the effort, the work on this is being done “alongside the efforts of the top US financial regulators,” who through the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, aka the Plunge Protection Team, are looking to better manage “the risks and opportunities posed by large-scale private-sector dollar digital currencies.”

As specific national supervisory standards for dollar digital currencies emerge from the Plunge Protection Team, Circle will work with their national regulatory counterparts on “the ultimate commercial adoption of new dollar digital currency standards.”

As for the future of USDC, the company “anticipates” that will grow into hundreds of billions of dollars in circulation, and support trillions of dollars in economic activity.

Just last month, Circle, which is preparing to go public, finally revealed how this token is backed after three years.
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