USDC Issuer Circle Launches Venture Arm, Announces Expansion and Investment in Singapore Market

Singapore’s central bank head meanwhile warned retail investors that it “frowns” on crypto “as an investment asset” for them because their prices are “not anchored on any economic fundamentals.”

USDC stablecoin issuer Circle has launched its investment arm called Circle Ventures to foster the development of blockchain ecosystem development and the acceleration of new technologies, products, and protocols needed to thrive.

Circle will invest in early-stage companies to accelerate their development and contributions to its shared mission through its Venture arm.

This week, Circle also announced that it plans to invest in the Singapore market. It further plans to expand in this market, for which it has initiated the application process to obtain applicable Singapore licenses and registrations.

“MAS has always been at the forefront of fintech innovation,” said Jeremy Allaire, co-founder, and CEO of Circle.

“We are honored to work with MAS and look forward to collaborating with Singaporean businesses on our innovation initiatives.”

Circle also plans to establish a hub for the broader Asia-Pacific market-based in Singapore.

“We know they will bring innovation, investment, and opportunity to Singapore, and it begins with our support of their Lighthouse Project,” said Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

After Tether (USDT), the leading stablecoin with a market cap of $75 billion, USDC is the second-largest stablecoin with a market cap of $34.65 billion. Currently, USDC accounts for 25.3% of the stablecoin market, up from 12.3% a year back and a mere 8% in November 2020.

Singapore Issues Warning

This week, Singapore’s financial regulator also warned of potential risks for retail investors due to “sharp speculative swings” in crypto assets which can result in “significant losses.”

Speaking at the Singapore Fintech Festival, MAS managing director Ravi Menon said the central bank “frowns on cryptocurrencies or tokens as an investment asset for retail investors” because their prices are “not anchored on any economic fundamentals.”

Cryptocurrencies meanwhile had a bullish start of the week as Bitcoin made a new all-time high, to just an hour ago put to another new all-time high at $68,728 while Ether made a new high at $4,845.

The boss at the top regulator also said that blockchain and crypto tokens could bring “many potential benefits,” such as facilitating cheaper and faster cross-border payments.

As for a central bank digital currency, Singapore is in no rush because physical cash is not going anywhere as such; needing a digital Singapore dollar is “moot at this point.”

“The case for a retail CBDC in Singapore is not urgent,” he said adding, electronic payments in the country are already “pervasive, highly efficient.”

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