Banking Circle, a European bank focused on cross-border payments, is adopting a major U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoin for payment rails.
The new payment feature is enabled as part of Banking Circle’s new service targeting banks and payment providers, allowing them to facilitate payments outside traditional bank rails.
Coinbase, a major cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, will be one of the crypto liquidity providers for Bank Circle, the announcement notes.
The USDC adoption by Banking Circle is positioned as a “key step in democratizing global finance” as it provides significant “reconciliation, speed and cost advantages,” the firm said.
Mishal Ruparel, head of virtual asset services at Banking Circle, pointed out that digital assets are likely to become the “leveler” for the global economy in the future. “It’s critical, therefore, that Banks and Payments providers have the ability to process certain types of cryptocurrencies in the same way they do fiat currencies,” he noted, adding:
“We already have client demand for paying out in cryptocurrency. […] We will, therefore, provide the facility to convert fiat to stablecoins in USDC, giving financial institutions the ability to send funds in stablecoin easily and with full regulatory compliance.”
Banking Circle was launched in 2016 with a mission to help payments businesses reach new global markets, avoiding the process burdens of traditional banking. Headquartered in Luxembourg, operates as a credit institution under the regulations of the Luxembourg Commission for the Financial Sector.
The firm also offers services in other European countries such as the United Kingdom, operating under limited supervision of the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority.
USDC is the world’s second-largest stablecoin by market capitalization, following only Tether (USDT). The USDC stablecoin was launched in 2018 as a joint project between the Coinbase crypto exchange and Circle, a U.S.-based blockchain payment firm founded by Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville in October 2013.