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Stablecoin Issuer Circle Resurrects Plan to Go Public

Stablecoin issuer Circle Internet Financial is relaunching its plan to go public.

The company confidentially filed paperwork for an initial public offering (IPO) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to a Thursday (Jan. 11) press release.

The number of shares to be offered and their price range have yet to be determined. The IPO is expected to happen once the SEC conducts a review, “subject to market and other conditions,” the release said.

Based in Boston, Circle issues the stablecoin USDC, and initially planned to go public in 2022 via a $9 billion special purpose acquisition company merger. That deal was put on hold while Circle waited for the SEC to approve its S-4 registration document.

“We are disappointed the proposed transaction timed out, however, becoming a public company remains part of Circle’s core strategy to enhance trust and transparency, which has never been more important,” Circle Co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire said at the time.

Circle later said it recognized the need for a rigorous review.

“We never expected the SEC registration process to be quick and easy,” the company said in January 2023. “We’re a novel company in a novel industry.”

Anticipation for Circle’s IPO has been seen as one of the signs of optimism for the crypto sector, along with the SEC’s Wednesday (Jan. 10) approval of bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

“Experts anticipate that crypto venture funding will rebound in the first quarter of the year…,” PYMNTS wrote this week. “Venture capitalists, particularly those at crypto-native firms, have raised capital that needs to be deployed in the coming years.”

Last year was a difficult one for crypto startups, as scandals and regulatory battles made fundraising more challenging. Venture capital investment in the crypto sector plunged to $9.5 billion during the year, less than a third of the prior year’s total.

During the fourth quarter of last year, FTX Co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried was convicted of multiple fraud charges and Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao pleaded guilty to violating anti-money laundering requirements. Crypto venture funding fell to $1.8 billion at the time, half of what companies gained in 2022.

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