USDC issuer has a game plan to rope in traditional merchants

USDC issuer

Circle, the firm behind USD Coin (USDC), recently acquired Elements— a payment service provider— to simplify the entry of traditional merchants into the digital realm.

The company revealed this at the Converge22 event held in San Fransisco on 29 September 2022. The development comes a day after USDC unveiled its plans to embrace cross-chain interoperability and expand across multiple blockchains.

By acquiring Elements, Circle looks to onboard real-world merchants, allowing them to seamlessly integrate their existing payment service providers with the world of VDAs. Elements is expected to bridge the real-to-virtual gap and lower the entry barrier for traditional businesses and merchants.

Nikhil Chandhok, CPO at Circle, believes that acquiring Elements will help unlock crypto’s utility value by making the next-gen financial services and payments more accessible.

Elements chief executive Nafis Jamal is also optimistic about the association. He said that the natural synergy in business operations would enable merchants to transition into the world of affordable payments.

Gearing up for ‘stable coin wars’

The Fed rate hikes have made stablecoins more valuable than ever, courtesy of the strengthening dollar. Therefore, stablecoin issuers like Tether and Circle are trying to make their presence felt across multiple ecosystems—to gain the upper hand in “Stablecoin Wars.”

With USDT announcing its association with Near and Polkadot chains, it is natural for even USDC to look ahead. And while USDC did announce a multi-blockchain outlook, acquiring a payment service company would certainly lend more credibility due to its merchant-specific nature. In other words, with Elements in play, merchants will be able to make crypto-specific payments quicker than ever and across platforms.

The new initiative has to be seen against the backdrop of USDC’s fast-depleting market cap—which deflated by $6.7 billion over the past 90 days or so. It would be interesting to see how this novel vision of offering seamless payment options pans out for Circle and USDC.

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