Circle is back to U.S. ahead of public listing

Circle, the company behind the widely-used USD Coin (USDC), intends to shift its legal base from Ireland to the United States ahead of its planned initial public offering (IPO).

The company recently filed the necessary paperwork with the High Court of the Republic of Ireland to facilitate the move, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. Circle, which is currently domiciled in Ireland, filed confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in January to list its shares publicly.

USDC is the second-largest stablecoin in the cryptocurrency market, with a market capitalization of roughly $33 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap. The largest stablecoin, Tether’s USDT, has a market cap of $100 billion.

The move to the U.S. could be driven by several factors, including the planned IPO. The higher corporate tax rates in the U.S. compared to Ireland’s relatively low rates might make the move otherwise less attractive. In January, Circle confidentially filed a draft registration statement S-1 form with the SEC, a common practice for companies aiming to go public, which allows them to finalize their plans privately before a public announcement.

Details on the number of shares to be offered and their pricing are yet to be determined. The IPO launch will be subject to SEC review and other market conditions.

Circle had previously planned to go public through a merger with Concord Acquisition Corp., a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), but that deal did not materialize.

Circle, which counts prominent investors such as Fidelity and BlackRock, announced in February it will stop supporting its stablecoin on the Tron blockchain. The issuer said the move is part of Circle’s ongoing efforts to ensure USDC maintains its reputation as a trusted, transparent, and safe digital currency.

This shift away from Tron follows previous clarifications from Circle in November 2023, refuting claims of service provisions to Tron’s founder, Justin Sun, amid ethical concerns raised by the Campaign for Accountability group.

In a detailed letter addressed to U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren, Circle’s Chief Strategy Officer, Dante Disparte, responded to claims made by the Campaign for Accountability. The watchdog group had suggested in a letter to the senators that Circle, along with TRON founder Justin Sun and the US-based stablecoin issuer, might be involved in financing terrorist organizations.

Addressing the allegations about facilitating terror financing, Circle pointed out that public blockchain records showed only a minimal amount of Circle’s USD Coin (USDC), $160, was transferred between wallets linked to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as per the asset seizure by Israeli authorities in July. Moreover, he clarified that none of these funds originated from Circle.