Blockchain and lending startup Figure Technologies is reportedly seeking approval from U.S. regulators to issue an interest-bearing stablecoin.
If approved, this move would establish a new class of stablecoins with federal legitimacy and make Figure the first company to offer a regulated stablecoin in the United States, Bloomberg reported Monday (Jan. 22).
Figure did not immediately reply to PYMNTS’ request for comment.
Figure Technologies filed a draft registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in October, according to the report. The filing, made through Figure Certificate Co., a subsidiary of Figure, outlines the company’s intention to register the stablecoin as “face-amount certificates,” a type of fixed-income security. If approved, the stablecoin will be issued using blockchain technology and will be accessible to both U.S. retail and institutional investors.
To support its operations, the digital asset arm of Figure Technologies, Figure Markets, plans to raise $50 million at a valuation of $250 million, the report said, citing unnamed sources. The funds raised will be utilized to strengthen Figure Markets’ activities.
Unlike the dominant stablecoins in the market, such as Tether Holdings’ USDT and Circle Internet Financial’s USD Coin, Figure’s stablecoin would offer interest, per the report.
While interest-bearing stablecoins exist outside the U.S., concerns about potential SEC regulation have deterred many issuers from offering them within the country, according to the report.
Figure aims to provide an alternative for payments and transaction settlements, the report said. Its stablecoin will differ from others by being redeemable at 1 cent per certificate, rather than pegged at $1 each. This means that a $1 payment will require the transfer of 100 certificates.
The stablecoin will accrue interest daily and distribute it monthly to the holders, per the report. The interest will be derived from reserves that include treasury, commercial paper, corporate debt and other assets.
The application process is expected to ignite debates on how stablecoins should be regulated in the U.S., the report said. Although previous attempts to introduce bills on stablecoins have been unsuccessful, the oversight of the sector has been emphasized as a priority by President Joe Biden.
In another recent move, Figure Lending and Figure Technologies said in November that they were expanding their partnership business. This expansion includes an increase of their lending-as-a-service (LaaS) platform.