Circle Ceases Support for USDC on Tron Blockchain

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  • Circle has terminated support for its USDC stablecoin on the Tron blockchain
  • The issuer cited continuous evaluation through a “risk management framework” to safeguard USDC’s integrity
  • The decision follows a United Nations report indicating heavy usage of stablecoins on Tron by Asian criminal gangs.

Circle, the operator of the $28 billion USDC stablecoin, has announced the termination of support for the Tron blockchain. This decision stems from Circle’s continuous evaluation of blockchain networks through a “risk management framework” to ensure the stability and integrity of USDC and comes in the wake of a United Nations report which suggested that stablecoins on the Tron blockchain are being heavily used by Asian criminal gangs. In a nod to this finding, Circle emphasized that this action is in line with its commitment to “ensure that USDC remains trusted, transparent and safe.”

Did UN Report Impact Circle’s Decision?

The UN report, released in January, claimed that Tether (USDT) on the Tron blockchain was becoming the “preferred method” for money launderers and fraudsters operating in Southeast Asia, most notably from pig butchering scams. While USDC was not implicated in the report, Circle has clearly taken preemptive action and decided to halt its operation on Tron, likely with the same concerns:

Our decision to discontinue support for USDC on TRON is the result of an enterprise-wide approach that involved the business organization, compliance and other functions across our company. This action aligns with our efforts to ensure that USDC remains trusted, transparent and safe – characteristics that make it the leading regulated digital dollar on the internet. 

In response to Circle’s decision, Justin Sun told Bloomberg that Tron was “currently trying to understand the situation,” adding that it “seems to be a unilateral commercial decision by Circle.”

The move comes amidst ongoing legal issues surrounding TRX, the native token of the Tron blockchain; the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Justin Sun and his companies last year, accusing them of market manipulation to artificially inflate the trading volume of TRX. Sun refuted the allegations, stating that the lawsuit lacks merit.