Circle to raise $400M in BlackRock-led funding round

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BlackRock has also entered a strategic partnership with Circle to become USDC’s primary asset manager.

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Updated: April 13, 2022 at 5:50 pm

Circle to raise $400M in BlackRock-led funding round

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

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Circle Internet Financial Ltd., the payments company behind the USD Coin (USDC), has signed an agreement to raise $400 million in a new funding round. The firm announced this news yesterday, noting that investors in this round include BlackRock, Fidelity Management and Research, Marshall Wace LLP, and Fin Capital.

According to the announcement, Circle expects the funding round to close in Q2 2022.

Apart from participating in the funding round, BlackRock inked a strategic partnership with Circle to become USDC’s primary asset manager. This wide-ranging deal will also see BlackRock explore market applications for the USDC stablecoin, among other objectives.

Circle seeks to fund its growth through this funding round to cater to the growing demand for a dollar-based digital currency and related financial services.

 Circle CEO and co-founder Jeremy Allaire commented: 

Dollar digital currencies like USDC are fueling a global economic transformation, and Circle’s technology infrastructure sits at the center of that change. This funding round will drive the next evolution of Circle’s growth.

He added:

It’s particularly gratifying to add BlackRock as a strategic investor in the company. We look forward to developing our partnership.

USDC continues closing in on Tether (USDT)

This news comes as USDC continues gaining on USDT, the leading stablecoin, market capitalization. USDT has a circulating supply of 82,613,836,053 coins, while USDC has 50,602,810,755 tokens.

USDC mined its 50th-billion token in February this year. Allaire celebrated the milestone by sharing more growth metrics, saying USDC had over 4.6 million wallets in 2021. Additionally, the stablecoin’s on-chain transaction volume exceeded $2.5 trillion during the same period.

He added that USDC is available as a protocol on eight public blockchains and that over 200 blockchain protocols support the stablecoin.

It is worth noting that USDC also surpassed USDT in terms of supply on Ethereum. At the time of writing, USDC has approximately 44.8 billion coins on Ethereum, while USDT’s supply stands at 39.8 billion tokens.

USDC is also catching up with USDT in terms of market control. As of January 2021, USDT controlled 75% of the stablecoin market, while USDC only accounted for 16%. By January 2022, USDT’s market control had plunged to 47%, whereas USDC’s almost doubled to hit 29%.

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