Circle’s Euro Stablecoin to Thrive with MiCA, Says CEO Jeremy Allaire

Circle co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire shilled USDC and EURC stablecoins in an interview on Monday. He anticipates more competition in the space as the EU’s regulatory framework toughens.

Under MiCA, stablecoin issuers must obtain authorization and be licensed by the relevant national authorities in the EU.

Circle Pioneers MiCA Compliance

Circle secured an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license on Monday. This is a requirement for any issuer looking to offer dollar- and euro-pegged crypto tokens in the European Union (EU) under the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) framework. It permits the firm to “onshore” its Euro-denominated EURC stablecoin to customers within the EU.

“Circle announces that USDC and EURC are now available under new EU stablecoin laws. Circle is the first global stablecoin issuer to be compliant with MiCA. Circle is now natively issuing both USDC and EURC to European customers effective July 1,” Allaire wrote.

Banks and EMIs can now issue and utilize Euro stablecoins as a core part of their products and services.

Read more: What Is Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA)? Everything You Need To Know

In a separate report, Allaire highlighted that compliance is the firm’s competitive advantage. He underscored Circle EURC stablecoin and USD Coin’s commitment to regulations stipulated by the MiCA framework.

“The day that MiCA came into law, we announced our Euro stablecoin EURC.  We also announced our intention to make our stablecoins fully compliant with MiCA and we are very committed to that path.  This is because legal electronic money in the form of Euro or dollar that runs on blockchains is a huge opportunity,” Allaire said in an interview.

Allaire cites two factors that embolden Circle: MiCA’s promotion of a pro-Euro digital asset environment and the firm’s strong compliance track record. This, in his opinion, positions the EURC to become much bigger as regulations in Europe allow Euro stablecoins to be part of a growth-bound financial system.

Why Tether’s USDT is in the Sidelines

The assertion comes after crypto exchanges delisted Euro-denominated stablecoins in their resolve to achieve MiCA compliance. Among them, Bitstamp revealed that the Euro Tether (EURT) stablecoin was delisted, joining the likes of Binance, Kraken, OKX, and Uphold, which also shed EURT.

Tether, the issuer of USDT stablecoin, indicated that it does not currently aim to comply with MiCA, which explains why it is subject to restrictions or cancellation on exchanges. Tether CEO Paolo Ardoino is against MiCA’s expectation of 60% of backing in bank cash, citing “bank failure risk.”

“Stablecoins should be able to keep 100% of reserves in treasury bills, rather than exposing themselves to bank failures by keeping big chunks of reserves in uninsured cash deposits. In case of bank failure, securities return to the legitimate owner,” Ardoino wrote in April.

For Tether, this could be another brick in the regulatory wall, shoving it to the sidelines over time as regulation in stablecoins gathers pace around the world.

Nevertheless, the landmark development sets the stage for increased adoption of Euro digital currency in the form of Euro stablecoins. With a clear set of guidelines for Euro digital currency issuance and operations, the new framework will promote a highly competitive market.

Allaire agrees with this speculation, saying that he anticipates more competition. In his opinion, new regulations that streamline the industry tend to attract more competition. Binance CEO Richard Teng lauded Circle in a post, calling for more players in the space.

“USDC becoming a MiCA-compliant e-money token (EMT) marks a positive step forward for the crypto ecosystem in the EEA region. We are hopeful that there’ll be more MiCA-compliant EMTs soon,” Teng wrote.

Read more: Crypto Regulation: What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks?

With the MiCA regulations in effect, firms will be held more accountable.  Their risk and compliance management, banking infrastructure, and assurances from major public audit firms will also be under more scrutiny.

The oversight, promoting regulatory clarity and transparency, will inspire increased customer confidence because of improved consumer protection. For new players looking to join the space, however, entry barriers will likely be higher as the MiCA framework aims to achieve its mandate — to protect consumers and investors, ensure financial stability, and foster innovation.

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