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BlackRock joins stablecoin issuer Circle’s $400M funding round

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Circle, a major peer-to-peer payments firm and the principal operator of the UDC Coin (USDC), has announced a $400 million funding round and a new partnership with the American investment firm BlackRock.

The USDC issuer has entered into an agreement for a funding round featuring investors like BlackRock, the investment advisory firm Fidelity Management and Research, the London-based hedge fund Marshall Wace and Fin Capital, as Circle officially announced Tuesday. The investment round is expected to close in the second quarter 2022.

Apart from providing strategic investment and being primary asset manager of USDC cash reserves, BlackRock has inked a broader strategic cooperation with Circle. The partnership specifically envisions exploring capital market applications for USDC, the announcement notes.

The funding aims to promote Circle’s development amid the growing demand for the United States dollar-based digital currency. USDC is one of the fastest growing dollar digital currencies, reaching $50 billion market capitalization in February 2022 after launching in September 2018.

At the time of writing, Circle is the second-largest stablecoin by market cap, following only Tether (USDT) and is the fifth-largest cryptocurrency by value, according to data from CoinGecko.

Related: Circle’s valuation doubles to $9B following revised merger agreement with Concord

“This funding round will drive the next evolution of Circle’s growth. It’s particularly gratifying to add BlackRock as a strategic investor in the company. We look forward to developing our partnership,” Circle co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire said.