Cryptocurrency Operator Circle to Go Public in $4.5 Billion SPAC Merger

Circle Internet Financial Inc., one of the biggest companies in the cryptocurrency sector, is merging with a special-purpose acquisition company to go public in a deal that values the company at $4.5 billion.

On Thursday, Circle said it is merging with Concord Acquisition Corp. , a SPAC sponsored by investment firm Atlas Merchant Capital that raised $276 million in its December initial public offering.

Founded in 2013 by Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville, Circle issues and maintains a so-called stablecoin known as USD Coin, a type of cryptocurrency designed to maintain an equal value to the U.S. dollar, and provides related services.

Circle is the latest company from the crypto industry to turn to the public markets in the wake of bitcoin’s growth last year and earlier this year. In 2021 alone, bitcoin doubled in price to nearly $64,000, attracting a swath of new investors and capital into the crypto markets. In April, the crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc. debuted via a direct listing.

Bitcoin’s price has fallen about 50% since the spring, however, cooling that fervor. On Thursday morning, it was trading around $32,475.