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Circle’s Jeremy Allaire on deals and Asia growth amid Grab tie-up: ‘You’re going to see partnerships with a lot of different firms’

Circle’s Jeremy Allaire on deals and Asia growth amid Grab tie-up: ‘You’re going to see partnerships with a lot of different firms’
Circle chief Jeremy Allaire said on the sidelines of Token2049 that Asia is a big focus. Credit: Suzanne Cordeiro/Shutterstock
  • Circle's Jeremy Allaire spoke at Token2049 just as his company inked a deal with Grab, the Southeast Asian ride-hailing super app.
  • He talked about Asia expansion, plans for partnerships after the Visa venture, and more.

Stablecoins may not be “anywhere close to mass adoption right now,” according to Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle, the company behind the stablecoin dubbed USDC.

But Allaire has his eyes set on 2024 for an explosion in usage. Speaking on stage in an interview at the Token2049 conference in Singapore, he laid out an optimistic vision for the future of digital currencies.

He cited “a lot of things that are lining up” that will serve as catalysts for broader adoption, ranging from improvements in the underlying technology to greater regulatory clarity.

Asia focus

Against the backdrop of the bull market and regulatory woes in the US, Asia has emerged as a focus point for many crypto firms.

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“Asia is itself, in the aggregate, the most dynamic fast-moving market in the world — and that’s independent of crypto and fintech,” Allaire said.

His comments resonate with a recurring theme at Token2049, where other industry giants like the Gemini founders, Cameron and Tyler Winkelvoss, and Binance founder Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, also emphasised the surging momentum and interest in blockchain technology in the region.

Singapore and Hong Kong have especially gained attention for their crypto-friendly regulatory frameworks, standing in stark contrast to more opaque jurisdictions, including the US.

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Circle partners with Grab

Earlier in the day, Circle announced a partnership with Grab, the Southeast Asian ride-hailing super app that offers not just deliveries and rides but also financial services.

Although not well known outside the region, Grab is Southeast Asia’s first ‘decacorn’ and recently reported a 77% year-over-year revenue growth in the second quarter to $567 million.

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The partnership aims to introduce a “Grab Web3 Wallet,” facilitating blockchain-based financial transactions for Singaporeans using the app. It will allow users to earn rewards and collectibles, and use non-fungible token, or NFT, vouchers.

Singapore footprint

This partnership enhances Circle’s expanding footprint in Singapore, which was fortified by it receiving a Major Payment Institution License from the Monetary Authority of Singapore in June.

The company inaugurated its regional office in May and has also joined forces with Tribe, Singapore’s first government-supported blockchain ecosystem builder, to offer specialised training programs for emerging Web3 developers.

Allaire expressed the company’s intent to engage with traditional internet companies to make the transition to web3 smoother for users.

“We’re focused on working with established consumer internet companies, established payment companies, digital wallet companies. You’re going to see partnerships with a lot of different firms like that,” he elaborated.

This strategic vision was underpinned by recent news that Visa, a payments giant, has opted to integrate USDC on the Solana blockchain for merchant settlements.

“It’s a really, really powerful statement: a giant payments powerhouse embracing this for merchant settlement,” Allaire said.

Callan Quinn is DL News’ Asia Correspondent, currently attending Token2049 in Singapore. Reach out to her at callan@dlnews.com.

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