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USDC Issuer Circle Lays Off Staff and Trims Investment into Non-Core Activities

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USD Coin issuer (USDC) Circle today announced it is trimming a marginal fraction of its staff as part of measures to maintain a ‘strong balance sheet'. In a statement shared with CoinDesk, Circle clarified that the decision did not reflect its financial position but rather the outcome of the company's plan to focus on other aspects of its business.  USDC ranks behind Tether (USDT) among stablecoins with the largest market capital with respective figures of $27.24 billion and $83.37 billion.

USDC market capital. Source: TradingView

Though the firm is reducing its headcount, it still intends to take on new hires in the areas it will redirect its resources and efforts towards.

“To maintain our strong balance sheet, Circle has […] reduced or ended investments in non-core activities and reduced operational expenses, which includes a marginal reduction in headcount,” the company's spokesperson explained. “At the same time, we have identified new areas for investment and are continuing to hire in key areas of focus on a global basis.”

Earlier in June, Circle hired the former US Commodities Futures Trading Commission head Heath Tarbert in the position of Chief Legal Officer. The USDC issuer followed it up with the appointment of Craig Broderick, a former risk management executive at Goldman Sachs, to its Board of Directors. Broderick had a career spanning more than three decades with the global investment bank.

“Strong risk management is essential to Circle's efforts to make USDC the safest, most trusted and transparent digital dollar on the internet,” Circle founder Jeremy Allaire remarked on the addition.

In February when many companies in the digital assets industry resolved to aggressive layoffs, Circle's Chief Financial Officer Jeremy Fox-Geen told the Wall Street Journal that the Boston-based firm planned to increase its total headcount by 15% to 25% by the end of the year. The focus on internal growth came on the back of an unsuccessful plan to go public via a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger whose deal timed out last December.

Circle, which is currently privately held, raised $400 million in a funding round which CEO Allaire said would be used to fund the next stage in Circle's growth roadmap. The capital raise announced last April involved BlackRock, which it entered into strategic partnership with at the time. Fidelity, Fin Capital, and Marshall Wace also participated in the raise. To date, several crypto companies, including Coinbase, Chainalysis and Gemini, have announced staff reductions.

To learn more about USD Coin, check out our Investing in USD Coin guide.

Sam is a financial content specialist with a keen interest in the blockchain space. He has worked with several firms and media outlets in the Finance and Cybersecurity fields.