Digital finance firm Circle announced it has applied to become a digital and crypto asset service provider in France to bolster its European ambitions. 

Circle, which issues the popular US-pegged stablecoin USDC, revealed it has filed applications to become both a digital asset provider and a licenced electronic money institution under the terms of the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, and the Autorité de Contrôle Prudential et de Résolution respectively. 

The financial company notes the country’s “sophisticated regime” and “rigorous requirement” for both licences as a key factor to set up a base in France due to its focus on digital asset regulation and innovation. 

If the company is successful in its attempt at becoming a digital asset service provider (DASP), it will become the first firm to receive full authorisation in France. 

“We are excited to kick our European growth strategy into high-gear with this application. France’s comprehensive efforts towards innovation-forward crypto regulation are commendable and closely align with Circle’s vision for the future of the digital payments sector,” said Jeremy Allaire, CEO and Co-Founder of Circle. 

“The DASP registration provides an initial path to support sensible digital asset innovation. Further, we aspire to become one of the first companies to achieve full-authorisation under the reinforced PSAN licensing regime, and hope that our growth plans for the country will strengthen its position as a global hub for innovation.”

The Prestataire de service sur actifs numériques (PSAN) Allaire alludes to will enable Circle to become a strong and viable entity in the digital payments and crypto sectors across Europe. 

The PSAN will also grant Circle to become an on-shore flagship product for the development of the digital euro, which is increasingly likely to launch after years of investigation by the European Central Bank and European Parliament

Jean-Noël Barrot, Minister Delegate to the Ministry of Economy of France, added: “We are delighted and honoured that Circle chose France as the base for the development of its activities in Europe.

“This decision fully validates France’s ambitions to become a hub for Web3 technologies, pursued with strong leadership by President Macron and Minister Bruno Le Maire since 2017.”