USDC issuer Circle Internet Financial said Tuesday it is curbing service for individual accounts to mint stablecoins.
"Circle is phasing out support for legacy consumer accounts and has notified individual consumers of this decision," a Circle spokesperson told CoinDesk in an email. "Account closures do not apply to business or institutional Circle Mint accounts."
Circle currently accepts qualified institutional clients only, not individual retail customers, as the company "does not serve retail consumers directly," the spokesperson explained.
Retail users may access USDC via brokerages, crypto exchanges and digital asset wallet services, the spokesperson added.
Screenshots of a customer email shared on social media platform X (Formerly Twitter) showed Circle notifying an individual account holder with zero balance that the company will discontinue wiring and minting abilities on November 30, prompting speculations about a crackdown on accounts.
Circle's curb for retail investors represents a move towards its main competitor, Tether's practice, which limits USDT minting and redemptions at a $100,000 minimum threshold.
USDC is the second largest stablecoin offering with a $25 billion supply, but its market share significantly declined throughout this year. USDC lost 43% of its market capitalization year-to-date, while USDT soared to a new all-time high of over $84 billion.
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