USDC stablecoin issuer Circle is venturing deeper into the Asian market with a new license to operate in Singapore.
On June 7, Circle announced that its Singapore division, an affiliate of Circle Internet Financial, had been granted a new license. The firm now has a Major Payment Institution (MPI) license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank.
Circle’s Asian Expansion Through Singapore
According to the announcement, the license allows Circle Singapore to offer digital payment token services. Additionally, it can provide cross-border money transfer services and domestic money transfer services in Singapore.
It can also operate various products and services, including the Circle Account. This allows institutional customers access to USDC, the world’s second-largest stablecoin.
The firm acknowledged the move as a step forward for crypto in the region:
“This milestone signifies a huge step forward for the future of regulated, transparent, and trusted dollar digital currencies in Singapore and the greater Asia region.”
Jeremy Allaire, co-Founder and CEO of Circle, said, “Singapore is integral to Circle’s global expansion and mission in raising global economic prosperity.”
Meanwhile, Circle’s Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Policy, Dante Disparte, added that the MPI license represents the firm’s “continued commitment to work with forward-thinking leaders and stakeholders at a global level.”
Circle is the latest major crypto firm to pivot to Asia as America’s war on crypto intensifies. This week the SEC issued twin lawsuits against two industry giants, Binance and Coinbase.
Earlier this week, BeInCrypto reported that crypto assets held by entities were also leaving the United States. A divergence is widening with more assets moving to Asia over the past year or so as America continues its crackdown.
Stablecoin Ecosystem Outlook
Circle’s USDC, which institutions favor, has seen its supply shrink dramatically this year. The firm’s exposure to the now-bankrupt Silicon Valley Bank rattled investors and users following a massive de-pegging event.
USDC supply has shrunk by almost $16 billion in 2023, equating to a 36% decline. It now has a market share of 22% with a circulating supply of $28.6 billion.
The declines have worked in favor of rival stablecoin firm Tether which has a commanding 64% market share. USDT supply has increased by $17 billion in 2023, adding 25% to reach a record circulation level of $83 billion.
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