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

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Circle, the US-based issuer of USD Coin (USDC), has set its sights on the booming Asian crypto markets.

In order to strengthen its presence in Asia, Circle chose Singapore to establish a regional headquarters. The company is also in the process of setting up an investment arm called Circle Ventures, according to Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire’s interview with Bloomberg. The first investment of the venture capital arm will focus on a Japanese yen stablecoin.

Allaire said the company sees substantial opportunities in Asian markets, where he expects strong adoption of stablecoins in the debt and lending markets. He added that the inflation environment and the search for yield would primarily trigger the move from markets to stablecoins. Commenting on Circle Yield, the company’s latest interest-generating offering, he said:

“While a lot of people want to focus on hedging people by buying Bitcoin directly, we believe for corporate capital managers and corporate treasurers, etc., that a stablecoin performance allocation is actually going to be really, really attractive. “

Circle is currently on a hiring wave to fill 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 kick-start the adoption of USDC for large corporations in the country.

Related: USDC Circle Issuer Supports Proposal to Regulate Stable Coin Issuers as Banks

Allaire was one of the first leaders in the crypto industry to show support for a recent proposal by the Biden administration to regulate stablecoin issuers as banks.

“We kind of agree with that basic premise for something that potentially underlies a very large number of payments and activity in the markets,” he said.

In a separate interview, he said the current steps would improve current regulations focused on transmitting money “into a much more basic infrastructure at the heart of what the future of banking and capital markets might look like.”