Circle Files for an IPO... Again

it’s worth noting that this isn’t Circle’s first attempt at a public listing. Might the 3rd time be the one that sticks?

Circle, the issuer of the USDC stablecoin, is looking to go public in the United States. 

What else do we know? Honestly, not much. Because Circle submitted their filing confidentially, the company doesn’t have to release any private or sensitive information until 15 days before an IPO. As stated in the filing:

“The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. The IPO is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.”

But although the company is being tight-lipped about the details, there is still a lot to discuss:

3rd Times The Charm

To give some backdrop, it’s worth noting that this isn’t Circle’s first attempt at a public listing.

  • Attempt #1 came in July 2021 when the company planned to go public through a SPAC merger with Concord Acquisition Corp. at a $4.5 billion valuation.

  • Attempt #2 came in the crypto bull market of February 2022 when Circle felt that its previous $4.5 billion was too low and instead agreed to new terms with Concord at a $9 billion valuation. The SPAC was ultimately canceled due to the drama around the FTX implosion. 

Might the 3rd time be the one that sticks?

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Circle’s USDC is the second-largest stablecoin by market cap, worth ~$24 billion. Although impressive, this number is down from $45 billion 2023. Tether’s USDT by comparison is worth ~$95 billion. 

To stymie concerns, Circle put out a “State of the USDC Economy” on Monday highlighting the growth of USDC in 2023. Highlights include:

  • Major growth in the Asia Pacific region where people are using USDC for remittances

  • The number of USDC wallets with a balance of at least $10 has grown 59% in the last year alone to a total of about 2.7 million

Beyond the growth, Circle is also banking on the fact that they are the most regulatory friendly operators in the stablecoin game.

And while they have yet to convince the SEC that it should be allowed to go public, speaking at Davos this week, CEO Jeremy Allaire stated that there is a “very good chance” lawmakers approve a stablecoin bill in 2024. 

Prediction market Polymarket currently has Circle’s IPO chances by June at 68%.

A major potential winner is also Coinbase (COIN) who in August took a direct equity stake in Circle.

The Race is On

It’s no coincidence that Circle put in their confidential filing immediately after spot-based bitcoin ETFs were approved. The regulatory climate seems to be slowly shifting, and crypto companies are taking notice. 

We wouldn’t be surprised to see more filings in the coming year.

Our short list? 

  • Kraken 

  • Blockchain

  • Chainalysis

  • Consensys

  • Fireblocks

  • Paxos

  • Bitwise

  • Anchorage Digital

  • Alchemy

  • BitGo

  • Gemini

  • eToro

  • Ripple

2024 may just be the year of the crypto stocks.