On December 21, 2023, Circle, a global financial technology firm and issuer of popular stablecoins USDC and EURC, announced a significant achievement in its European expansion strategy with the receipt of a conditional registration as a Digital Asset Service Provider (DASP) from the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF). This marks a strategic move for the company, highlighting its commitment to the French and European markets.
As part of its dedication to the region, Circle has also disclosed the selection of Coralie Billmann, a seasoned professional in the payments industry, to lead its licensed operations in France. However, it's important to note that this appointment is subject to regulatory approval.
To fully operationalize its services in France, the company must obtain approval as a payment services provider (PSP) or register as an agent of a PSP. The conditions tied to its registration can be lifted upon obtaining an Electronic Money Institution license, a step for which it has already applied.
Coralie Billmann, the appointed leader for Circle's licensed operations, brings a wealth of experience to the role. Notably, she played a pivotal role in launching the payments activity of 3S Money Club in Europe, a licensed Electronic Money Institution. With a background in compliance and finance, Billmann has held significant positions, including leading High Growth Tech Sales expansion for JP Morgan in Paris and serving as EMEA Treasurer at PayPal for nine years. Her directorships with 3S Money and PayPal underscore her expertise in the payments industry.
Additionally, Jeremy Allaire, Co-founder, CEO, and Chairman at Circle, emphasized the company's regulatory-first approach, stating, "The issuance of this conditional DASP registration in France marks a significant early milestone as we work towards establishing our European regulatory platform." Allaire expressed confidence in Coralie Billmann's leadership, highlighting her market expertise and leadership as instrumental in advancing regulatory efforts and strengthening connections in France.
The company's objective extends beyond the conditional registration, aiming to bring its European operations under comprehensive EU oversight with both a full DASP and Electronic Money Institution license. This aligns with the rigorous standards set by the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR) and is geared towards ensuring compliance with the forthcoming Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regime.
Dante Disparte, Circle's Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Policy, commended France's regulatory environment, stating, "The selection of France as our European regulatory base builds on the country's clear rules for responsible innovation in fintech and digital assets." The company also acknowledged the support of De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés in the regulatory application process.
This move positions Circle for further growth in the European market, emphasizing its commitment to regulatory compliance and responsible innovation in the evolving landscape of digital assets.