Circle Gains EU Stablecoin License, Is First to Be MiCA Compliant

By Jody McDonald July 02, 2024 In Europe, Stablecoins
usdc, USD Coin, Five crypto coins in a row on a black background, with the central coin prominently displayed and the others subtly receding, 4k 3d render, 3d illustration,
  • Circle has been registered in France as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI), making it the first global stablecoin issuer to achieve compliance with the EU’s MiCA cryptocurrency regulations.
  • Circle’s USDC and EURC stablecoins are now the only major stablecoins that are fully compliant with the EU’s regulatory framework.

Circle, the company behind the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin, announced Monday that it has been registered in France as an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) by the French banking regulator, the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR). 

The company said the registration meant it was the first global stablecoin issuer to achieve compliance with the European Union’s landmark Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulatory framework.

Related: Circle, the Company Behind USDC, Takes Leap Toward IPO 

Circle’s USDC and EURC Now Compliant With EU Regulation

Circle’s registration as an Electronic Money Institution in the EU means its USDC and Euro Coin (EURC) stablecoins are now being issued in compliance with the EU’s MiCA regulations — the only major stablecoins that can make this claim. 


As part of its compliance measures, Circle has also opened up its Circle Mint to business customers in Europe, allowing them to mint and redeem USDC and EURC throughout the EU market.

In a statement, Circle co-founder and CEO, Jeremy Allaire, said that the firm’s adherence to the EU’s MiCA regulatory framework “is a huge milestone in bringing digital currency into mainstream scale and acceptance.” He added:

By working closely with French and EU regulators, we are now able to offer both USDC and EURC as fully-compliant dollar and euro stablecoins to the European market, unlocking the enormous potential of digital assets to transform finance and commerce.

Jeremy Allaire, Circle CEO

MiCA Makes It Harder For StableCoin Issuers, Says Tether

While many have praised the EU for implementing wide-ranging digital asset regulation through MiCA, stablecoin issuer Tether says the regulation contains several “concerning” requirements. He said the requirements could overly complicate the business of issuing stablecoins making them riskier to operate.

Speaking to The Block last month Tether CEO, Paolo Ardoino, said:

These requirements could not only render the job of a stablecoin issuer extremely complex but also make EU-licensed stablecoins extremely vulnerable and riskier to operate. As with any regulatory framework of this scale, further discussions on the technical implementation standards are crucial to providing clarity to the market over certain provisions.

Paolo Ardoino, Tether CEO

Ardoino’s words of warning came after the world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, said it’ll be limiting access to non-compliant stablecoins in the EU, possibly including Tether’s USDT, once the MiCA stablecoin regulations come into effect (they came into effect on June 30). Binance’s CEO has since clarified on X that no “unauthorised stablecoins” will be immediately delisted from spot trading, but their use will be limited on certain investment products.

What Are The MiCA Regulations?

The EU’s MiCA regulations are touted as the most comprehensive crypto regulatory framework anywhere in the world. The regulations are intended to cover gaps in existing legislation, ensuring companies operating in the digital asset space protect investors and minimise market manipulation. MiCA laws first came into effect in June of 2023, but specific stablecoin regulations were not implemented until June 30, 2024.

One of MiCA’s most contentious stablecoin regulations, known as Article 23, is that stablecoin issuers cannot continue issuing non-euro-denominated stablecoins used as a “means of exchange” if the threshold of 1 million transactions or more than 200 million euro (US$215 million) in trading volume per day is crossed.

Related: Kraken Executive Refutes Claims of USDT Delisting in Europe Amid New Regulations 

In December 2024 the remaining MiCA regulations, which apply to digital asset service providers, will come into effect — crypto companies will then have until July 2026 to become fully MiCA compliant or risk legal sanctions.

Jody McDonald

Jody McDonald

Jody is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who specialises in writing about business, technology, and the future of work.

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