Stablecoin issuer Circle confidentially filed for an initial public offering following a year in which crypto values climbed.
The firm, which issues the second-largest stablecoin by volume, USDC, publicly announced the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have yet to be determined.
The timeline is dependent on that of the SEC review process, subject to market and other conditions.
Circle’s IPO plan announcement comes just over a year after the collapse of a deal in which the firm planned to go public via the special purpose acquisition company Concord Acquisition Corp.
Its now-abandoned deal with Concord was initially struck in July 2021, during a period in which the cryptosphere was expanding on higher coin prices and consistent growth in customers. The market had massive gains in the following four months, before crypto prices began to fall.
In the following spring and summer, there were several industry-shaking collapses — Terra/LUNA, Celsius, Voyager Digital —and just one month before Circle and Concord abandoned their partnership, the empire built around crypto exchange FTX collapsed.
Stablecoins, by design, have little to no volatility because they’re pegged to the U.S. dollar. But crypto prices have now been on an uptick, and an 18-month crypto winter — crypto’s version of a bear market — ended in the fall.
Circle’s IPO filing comes at a notable time. The SEC on Wednesday approved 11 spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds, a type of investment that allows people exposure to bitcoin without actually holding it.
The long-awaited spot bitcoin ETF approval is expected by crypto’s “true believers” to further legitimize digital assets in the financial sector.
“I believe that the real significance of the Bitcoin ETF extends far beyond today's market dynamics,” said Ben Zhou, co-founder and CEO of Bybit, a global crypto exchange, in a prepared statement. “It's a clear indicator that crypto's inherent value as a global transaction system with near-instant finality and total transparency is being realized.”
Ben Weiss, CEO and co-founder of bitcoin ATM firm CoinFlip, said via email that the ETF approval doesn’t fundamentally change what he and other crypto professionals have “already known for years: bitcoin is here to stay.”
“Whether it’s cross-border payments for those left behind by the traditional financial system, or bringing transparency to complex supply chains, crypto and the blockchain will continue to shape our world,” Weiss said. “This is the moment we've been waiting for, where cryptocurrencies cement their position as the driving force behind the future of finance.”
A Circle spokesperson declined to comment on the timing of its IPO filing, or to provide information beyond the press release.