Stablecoin issuer Circle has recently made an important strategic move, announcing its conditional registration under France’s cryptocurrency laws. The company’s Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Policy, Dante Disparte, highlighted the reasons behind this decision, stating that France’s clear rules for responsible innovation in fintech and digital assets, combined with its dynamic entrepreneurial and technological ecosystem, make it an ideal European regulatory base for Circle.
Following the registration, Circle is now conditionally registered as a Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP), also known as Prestataire de Service sur Actifs Numériques (PSAN), with France’s financial regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF). However, this conditional registration comes with certain requirements. Before starting operations in France, Circle must either obtain approval as a payment services provider (PSP) or register as an agent of a PSP. To meet this requirement, Circle has applied for an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license.
Obtaining the necessary licensing will not only enable Circle to operate in France but also ensure compliance with the European Union’s Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regime. This is a significant step for Circle, as it positions the company to tap into the growing market for digital assets in Europe and expand its services to a wider audience.
To lead its operations in France, Circle has chosen Coralie Billmann, pending regulatory approval. Billmann brings a wealth of experience to the role, having previously held positions at prominent financial institutions such as the European payments platform 3S Money, JP Morgan, and PayPal Luxembourg. Her appointment as Circle’s Europe VP this month demonstrates the company’s commitment to strengthening its presence in the European market.
Coinbase, a frequent partner of Circle, has also achieved similar regulatory status in France. Although the dissolution of their joint venture, the CENTRE Consortium, occurred in August, the two companies continue to maintain a strong partnership. Their collaboration has been widely recognized and praised for their role in issuing and supporting stablecoins such as the USDC, which is pegged to the U.S. dollar, as well as the EURC, which is pegged to the euro.
Circle’s conditional registration as a Digital Asset Service Provider in France marks a significant milestone in the company’s expansion plans. With a focus on responsible innovation and compliance with regulations, Circle is well-positioned to tap into the thriving European market for digital assets. By partnering with Coinbase and leveraging its expertise in stablecoin issuance, Circle can continue to drive innovation and provide essential financial infrastructure for the digital economy. As the company moves forward with its operations in France, it will undoubtedly play an integral role in shaping the future of finance.