Circle Debuts A Crypto Pegged To Euro

With Circle’s announcement of a new euro-denominated stablecoin called Euro Coin, the second-largest issuer of dollar-pegged cryptocurrencies is making a play for leadership of the payments token business.

Circle’s dollar-pegged USD Coin (USDC) is the second largest stablecoin by market cap, with $54.5 billion, second only to Tether’s $80 billion USDC. But having grown from $21 billion at the beginning of last year, USDC is taking a rapidly increasing share of the stablecoin market once dominated by Tether’s USDT.

The company, which issues USDC in partnership with the parent of top U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase, is also making a big bet on the future of the blockchain-based stablecoin market in the EU, where the privately issued, volatility-free cryptocurrency payments tokens are viewed with more than a little hostility.

“The launch of Euro Coin aims to further Circle’s successful work in driving the frictionless exchange of financial value and bridging crypto-native and traditional financial services,” Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire said in a statement. “Businesses can use EUROC tokens to easily move euro liquidity on-chain, accept and make euro payments globally that can settle in minutes, and access crypto capital markets for trading, borrowing, lending and more.”

The Euro Coin, which will have the crypto exchange symbol EUROC, is a strong signal that Circle’s goal is to move stablecoins beyond their current function, which is largely reducing volatility risks when trading cryptocurrencies.