Former Barclays boss plans US listing for crypto firm Circle

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Cryptocurrency firm Circle is planning to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) through a US$4.5bn deal with Concord Acquisition Corp, a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) chaired by former Barclays PLC (LON:BARC) boss Bob Diamond.


Circle is the group behind USD Coin, a stablecoin that is pegged to the value of the US dollar and used for digital transactions. Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies designed to maintain a consistent value and to manage volatility in crypto markets as well as make it easier to buy other digital currencies.


READ: Goldman Sachs tips Ethereum to emerge as crypto kingpin


According to Circle, around US$25bn worth of USD Coin is currently in circulation, while the stablecoin’s blockchain has recorded transactions worth around US$785bn.


The listing is backed by a number of prominent investors including Cathie Wood’s Ark Investment Management and Daniel Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point.


The company, which was first launched in the UK in 2016 with Barclay’s backing, will be one of the biggest crypto-related firms to float on the global stock market thus far, following the lead of several other industry firms who moved to float amid a boom in the value of crypto and renewed interest in the market.


However, Circle may be hoping to make a better start to life as a public company than crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ:COIN), which floated to much fanfare in April in a direct listing with a reference price of US$250 per share.


Despite an initial surge in value, the exchange’s shares have since fallen back to below their reference price, closing at US$244 on Thursday, giving it a market cap of around US$51bn.

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