Circle Phasing Out Consumer Accounts, Business and Institutional Mint Accounts Unaffected

Stablecoin issuer Circle is set to discontinue its support for consumer accounts, a move that was confirmed by a Circle representative. The decision, which came as part of Circle’s strategic review, will lead to the closure of individual consumer accounts on November 30, marking the end of “wiring and minting functionalities” for these accounts.

However, the phasing out of consumer accounts will not affect business or institutional “Mint” accounts. In response to these changes, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire clarified that Circle has not permitted the opening of individual accounts for years, operating as an institution-only platform. Circle Mint users with existing accounts have been notified of the account closures, but they will still be able to utilize their remaining balances until November 30.

Despite some rumors and speculations, Allaire emphasized that there was nothing new about this move and that Circle has maintained a focus on institutional users for quite some time. He urged users to disregard any unfounded fears and conspiracy theories, emphasizing that retail users have alternative platforms to access Circle’s stablecoins.

In the stablecoin landscape, Circle’s rival, Tether, still supports individual consumer accounts, albeit with a minimum limit of $100,000. Paolo Ardoino, CEO of Tether, noted that Tether allows both individuals and corporate customers to participate in its primary market for issuances and redemptions. Tether maintains the $100,000 minimum limit to facilitate deeper due diligence on Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance for professional participants.

The move by Circle comes as the stablecoin USDC has experienced a decline in market share compared to USDT, with a significant drop in market capitalization since the beginning of the year. Circle has taken this strategic decision to align its focus and services, with business and institutional accounts being the primary focus moving forward.

This development reflects the evolving dynamics within the stablecoin sector and signals the continuing growth and competition in the space, with platforms adapting to meet the demands of their users and regulatory requirements.