Circle to invest in Japanese yen stablecoin as part of expansion to Asia

Circle, the United States-based issuer of USD Coin (USDC), has set its sights on thriving Asian crypto markets. In a move to strengthen its presence in Asia, Circle picked Singapore to establish a regional headquarters. The company is also setting up an investment arm called Circle Ventures, according to Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire’s interview with Bloomberg. The venture arm’s first investment will focus on a Japanese yen stablecoin.Allaire said the company sees substantial opportunities in the Asian markets, where he expects to see strong adoption of stablecoins in borrowing and lending markets. He added that the inflation environment and the search for yield would primarily trigger markets’ move to stablecoins. Commenting on “Circle Yield,” the company’s latest interest-yielding offering, he said: Circle is currently on a hiring spree to fill up its Singapore headquarters to make USDC “one of the first global stablecoins to be licensed in Singapore.” The company is working with the Monetary Authority of Singapore to jumpstart the adoption of USDC for the country’s major businesses.Allaire was one of the first executives in the crypto industry to show vocal support for a recent proposal from the Biden administration to regulate stablecoin issuers as banks. “We kind of agree with that basic premise for something that’s potentially underpinning a really broad amount of payments and markets activity,” he said.In a separate interview, he said the current steps would upgrade the current money transmission-focused regulations “to a much more fundamental infrastructure at the core of what potentially the future of banking and capital markets look like.”

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