Circle Files for Confidential IPO, Aiming to Make USD Coin (USDC) Public

Circle Internet Financial, the powerhouse behind the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin, has confidentially filed for a U.S. initial public offering (IPO). The company aims to become a publicly traded entity, bringing its plans full circle after a previous attempt at a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal faltered.

This recent filing, announced via press release, has left the financial world abuzz with anticipation. Circle, a key player since its establishment in 2013, controls the issuance and governance of USDC, the second-largest stablecoin globally with a market capitalization exceeding $25 billion.

While the exact number of shares to be offered and the proposed price range remain undisclosed, the IPO is expected to proceed following the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) review process, contingent on market conditions.

The move follows a trajectory of highs and lows for Circle. After a notable valuation of $9 billion in a 2022 deal to go public through a SPAC, the company experienced a setback, terminating the agreement in December 2022. The resurgence of plans to go public aligns with a broader trend in the crypto sector, which saw significant market gains in 2023 despite a sluggish traditional IPO landscape.

The USDC stablecoin, pegged to the U.S. dollar, has played a pivotal role in Circle’s prominence. Despite a circulation dip from over $56 billion in mid-2022 to $25 billion, USDC remains a force to be reckoned with in the stablecoin arena.

The IPO announcement comes at a strategic juncture, coinciding with the SEC’s recent approval of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and a renewed bullish sentiment in the cryptocurrency market.

Circle’s journey into the public domain has been marked by strategic maneuvers and adaptations, including layoffs and a shift in focus away from non-core business areas during the crypto industry’s downturn in 2022.