Circle USDC becoming MiCA compliant is a major win for the entire crypto industry – Oyebanji  

Mr. Olayimika Oyebanji is a Web 3 policy expert and an award-winning crypto journalist who has interviewed Circle’s Head of Global policy in the past on Circle’s expansion strategy and issues bothering crypto’s mass adoption. 

In this interview with Nairametrics, he spoke on the implication of Circle USDC MiCA approval and what it means for the global crypto industry. He also harped on what the Nigerian SEC can learn from MiCA’s regulatory framework.   

Nairametrics: Mr. Oyebanji what does the Mica approval for Circle mean to Crypto enthusiasts in Europe?  

Olayimika Oyebanji: It’s important to understand that the EU as a regional bloc has emerged as the indisputable leader of the world in crypto assets regulation through the Market in Crypto Assets Regulation (MiCA), which is now widely viewed as a global benchmark.

For the most part, it’s a successful attempt at providing much-needed regulatory clarity and establishing a legal framework for the crypto industry in the EU.  

Having said that, Circle’s USDC becoming MiCA compliant is a major win for not just the crypto enthusiast in the EU but also for the entire industry. It signals the beginning of the era of a regulated crypto market in the EU, one in which investors’’ protection, compliance, and accountability are non-negotiable. 

Nairametrics: Which euro-backed stable coin would Circle be issuing to its European customers?  

Olayimika Oyebanji: Circle would be issuing EURC (Euro Coin) to its European customers. The EURC is fully backed by the Euro, meaning it can always be redeemed 1:1 for it. This is similar to the USDT and other stablecoins claiming to have a one-ratio-one-dollar parity.  

Nairametrics: Does Circle being the first to be MiCA approved, provide it with some advantage over Tether USDT its closest competitor?  

Olayimika Oyebanji: Yes, it does — if you are referring to the European crypto market! USDT and USDC have significant market shares in the global stablecoin industry and both are competing to become the global payment king. The advantages that the MiCA compliance has given to USDC are increased trust and credibility, and a potential for wider adoption by financial institutions in the EU.  

Nairametrics: What can the Nigerian SEC learn or adopt from MiCA’s regulatory framework in tackling crypto entities in the country?  

Olayimika Oyebanji: There are so many valuable lessons that the SEC can learn from the approval and implementation of MiCA. I will briefly talk about two: finding the right balance between regulation and innovation, and experimentation of blockchain-based solutions.  

The ongoing clampdown on crypto exchanges such as Binance highlights the need for the government to strike a balance between exercising regulatory control and promoting innovation in the crypto industry.

Governmental policies must be designed in such a way that aligns blockchain technology and cryptocurrency with the government’s effort to attract foreign direct investment.  

It’s about time the government started making frantic efforts to domestic blockchain technology. Doing so will end the villainization of cryptocurrency in Nigeria and provide a more nuanced and fairer understanding of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.  

Nairametrics: Are there currently plans by other stablecoin issuers to be MiCA approved too?  

Olayimika Oyebanji: Most likely. The EU is increasingly becoming pro-crypto, especially with the MiCA regulation. This is many years in the making and a positive development for the global stablecoin industry. Going forward, chances are that more issuers in the EU market will apply to be regulated.  

Nairametrics: Would the circulation of Euro-backed stable coins improve with the recent MiCA approval for Circle? 

Olayimika Oyebanji: It stands to reason that the circulation of Euro-backed stablecoins will improve as a result of the USDC-compliant status. The approval has created a template for other issuers and it has also created a favorable environment for responsible innovation built on regulatory clarity, credibility, and trust. This is what the crypto stakeholders in the US are asking for.

I would like to state unequivocally that there is a need for Nigerian regulators to establish a federal agency for blockchain technology and responsible innovations to better prepare the nation for mainstream adoption.  


Back to top button