Circle’s Asia plans include a regional headquarters in Singapore, a new venture arm and investment in Japanese yen stablecoin efforts.
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:
“While a lot of people want to focus on people hedging by buying Bitcoin directly, we think for stewards of capital within corporations and corporate treasurers and so on, that an allocation into stablecoin yield is actually going to be really, really attractive.”
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 (MAS) 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.”