Circle has finally revealed the SEC’s refusal to greenlight its much-publicized special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal with Concord led to the failure of the $9 billion merger last year.

SEC crushed Circle’s SPAC plans 

Circle, the issuer of USDC, the world’s second-largest stablecoin, has told the Financial Times that its much-talked-about and highly publicized SPAC deal with Concord Acquisition failed to materialize due to the unwillingness of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to approve the filing.

It will be recalled that Circle first announced plans to become a publicly listed company via a SPAC merger with Concord Acquisition in July 2021. However, the deal faced a couple of procedural setbacks, leading to a mutual termination of the $9 billion agreement last December by both companies.

“We are disappointed the proposed transaction timed out. However, becoming a public company remains part of Circle’s core strategy to enhance trust and transparency, which has never been more important.”

Jeremy Allaire, CEO Circle.

Fast forward to January, and Circle had made it clear that the failure of its SPAC deal was not a  result of any form of conflict with Concord or the widespread FUD brought about by the collapse of FTX, but due to the dreaded regulator’s failure to approve its S-4 filing before the transaction agreement between both companies expired.

SEC – a nightmare for web3 businesses 

While the debate on who should be the primary regulatory watchdog (SEC or the CFTC) of the burgeoning web3 space is still on, the SEC has continued to wield its hammer against crypto market participants who go against its statutes.

In 2022 alone, the SEC orchestrated 30 enforcement actions against crypto market participants, representing a 50% increase from 2021.

Earlier this month, leading crypto lender Nexo reached a landmark multi-million dollar settlement with the SEC for offering its products to U.S. residents.


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