Cryptocurrency startup Circle is taking a page right out of the “book of Coinbase” and has announced plans to go public.
Circle Is Set to Go Public
The company first needs to complete a merger with Concord Acquisition Corp., a special acquisition company led by the former CEO of Barclays Bob Diamond. This merger means Circle will soon boast a valuation of approximately $4.5 billion, making it one of the most powerful crypto-centered firms in the digital space.
The news comes after Circle completed a $440 million fundraising round last May. It was the largest venture round to ever occur for a crypto-based startup. Once the merger takes place, the company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker CRCL. All details are expected to be finalized during the final three months of the year.
Jeremy Allaire – the co-founder and CEO of Circle – explained in a recent interview:
As we started the year, we had experienced a very dramatic growth in USDC and very strong traction with new products and services that we are launching. Our view is that we were in a rather unique position to rapidly build out and scale out a major franchise, built around delivering digital currency-based financial services around the world. It is a unique opportunity to be able to not just raise that amount of capital but transform the company into a company that is accountable to the public.
Circle is primarily known for unveiling a stable currency known as USD Coin (USDC). It has quickly risen to become one of the largest and most prominent stable currencies in the digital asset arena. Just this year alone, the currency spiked by more than 3,400 percent. There is approximately $25 billion worth of USDC in circulation, and the company says it has supported close to $800 million in transactions.
While the merger is a big deal to many, some financial analysts are questioning Circle’s timing, and say that the company is going public too soon given how far bitcoin and its altcoin cousins have fallen in the past few months. Lisa Ellis – who follows the payments sector at the Wall Street firm MoffettNathanson Research – stated:
Circle is focused on an attractive part of the crypto ecosystem. [However], we are likely in the earlier stages of a so-called ‘crypto winter,’ when interest in cryptocurrencies may wane over the next year-plus after the huge surge in late 2020 to early 2021. It strikes me as a bit early for Circle to [be] listing on the public markets.
Moving Into Bigger and Better Places
Last month, the company also announced plans to expand its presence into other countries. Allaire said:
[We] are not just focused on the U.S. What I can say is you should absolutely expect to see Circle expand the kind of licenses that we seek and operate with.