Circle restricts individual accounts from minting USDC stablecoins

abdelaziz Fathi

Circle, the issuer of the second-largest stablecoin by market capitalization, said today that it is scaling back services for individual accounts related to minting stablecoins.

According to a spokesperson from Circle, the company is phasing out support for legacy consumer accounts and has informed retail consumers of this decision. However, this move does not impact business or institutional Circle Mint accounts.

Circle explained that it currently serves qualified institutional clients only and does not directly cater to individual retail customers. Instead, retail users can access USDC through brokerages, cryptocurrency exchanges, and digital asset wallet services.

The decision sparked speculations on social media platforms like X (formerly known as Twitter), especially after screenshots of an email sent to an individual account holder surfaced. The email indicated that Circle would discontinue wiring and minting abilities for the account with zero balance by November 30.

Addressing the concerns, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire clarified on X that the company hasn’t allowed individuals to open Circle accounts for years, focusing instead on institutional clients. He stated, “The only change is that for a few thousand individual user accounts that were still open with us, we are no longer going to support those accounts.”

Allaire urged people to ignore any fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) and conspiracy theories circulating around this decision. He highlighted the company’s partnership with Coinbase, which provides retail access to USDC without fees.

Circle’s decision to restrict retail investors aligns it more closely with the practices of its main competitor, Tether, which limits USDT minting and redemptions with a minimum threshold of $100,000.

Despite being the second-largest stablecoin with a $25 billion supply, USDC has experienced a significant decline in market share this year. The stablecoin lost 43% of its market capitalization year-to-date, while Tether’s USDT reached a new all-time high of over $84 billion.

Stablecoins like USDC have faced increased regulatory scrutiny in recent times, driven by incidents like the collapse of terraUSD.

Circle’s token lost its dollar peg in March and slumped to an all-time low of $0.8 per coin after the issuer revealed it had nearly 9 percent of its $40-billion USDC reserves stuck at Silicon Valley Bank. However, the stablecoin then recovered its losses after Circle assured investors it would honor the peg despite exposure to failed bank.

Circle also made headlines when it made the tough decision to downsize its workforce in response to a turbulent year for the digital asset industry. Describing the job cuts as a mere marginal reduction in headcount, Circle said that this move is part of a broader strategy to curtail operational expenses and discontinue investments in non-core activities.

The move comes after Coinbase has bought an equity stake in Circle, though they decided to dissolve the Centre Consortium, a private organization governing the USDC stablecoin.

Read this next

Digital Assets

JPMorgan’s stablecoin ventures into interbank transactions

JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s proprietary digital token, JPM Coin, is set to expand its use case by facilitating interbank transactions on Partior, a blockchain ledger developed in collaboration with DBS Bank, Temasek, and Standard Chartered.

Retail FX

Interactive Brokers’ client base surges past 2.5 million

Interactive Brokers LLC (NASDAQ:IBKR) saw 1.89 million daily average revenue trades, or DARTS, in November 2023 compared to 1.93 million transactions in the prior month. The figure is three percent lower on a yearly basis, and also dropped slightly from a month earlier.

Executive Moves

Andrew Gibson launches TimberFX brokerage brand in Cyprus

After nearly two years at Tavira Securities as Head of Product Development, industry veteran Andrew Gibson is launching a new FX brokerage business based out of Cyprus.

Market News

US Dollar’s Trajectory Amidst Seasonal Trends and Economic Indicators in December 2023

As we traverse the final stretch of 2023, the noteworthy depreciation of the US dollar dominates the financial landscape

Inside View

Unlocking the Financial Potential of SMEs: Is FinTech the Key?

The rise of the gig economy for early-stage startups and freelancers has highlighted the increasing importance of small-scale business transactions and banking requirements. Unfortunately, this has also exposed a significant gap in the SME banking landscape.

Digital Assets

South Africa’s FSCA receives 138 crypto license applications

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) of South Africa is currently processing a slew of applications from cryptocurrency companies seeking operational licenses.


Exclusive Interview with Greg Rubin, Head of Axi Select: Unveiling the Future of Capital Allocation in the Financial World

Today, we are thrilled to kickstart another series of exclusive interviews with top executives in the financial services industry, hosted by our FinanceFeeds Editor-in-Chief, Nikolai Isayev. Our next guest is none other than Greg Rubin, the mastermind behind Axi Select.

Digital Assets receives UK’s EMI license, paving way for regulated expansion

Cryptocurrency exchange has been authorized as an Electronic Money Institution by the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Digital Assets

Ripple’s Metaco joins Zodia Custody’s network for connectivity with Layers 0 and 1

“As the industry undergoes a pivotal transformation, our networked infrastructure is dedicated to standardise, govern and connect institutional digital asset flows — an essential step in forging use cases that transcend individual companies.”