Stablecoin issuer Circle will close out consumer or individual accounts on November 30, according to emails received by Circle customers on October 31. In an email to Cointelegraph, the stablecoin issuer confirmed that it is closing the accounts but confirmed that business and institutional “Mint” accounts will remain available.
On the morning of October 31, crypto user Evanss6 posted an image to X (formerly Twitter) of an email that Circle customers allegedly received. The email stated that individual accounts are being closed “as part of Circle’s strategic review.” The customer was told that “wiring and minting functionalities” would no longer be supported and that the account would be closed on November 30.
In an email to Cointelegraph, a Circle representative confirmed that the accounts are being shut down but that business and institutional accounts will remain open:
“Circle is phasing out support for legacy consumer accounts and has notified individual consumers of this decision. Account closures do not apply to business or institutional Circle Mint accounts.”
Related: Circle launches ‘points-to-crypto’ program with Taiwan convenience store chain
On X, some crypto users speculated about the reason for Circle’s decision. Crypto sleuth Adam Cochran suggested that Circle’s reserves may be getting drained by a “network of individual accounts” that are operating as “KYC mules” or money-laundering intermediaries, hence the need to close these accounts down.
Honestly my personal bet is that the TUSD/USDT rotation into USDC that has been draining their reserves has come from a network of consumer accounts – which is why it can’t be pinned down.
KYC mules isn’t exactly a new concept – so wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the strategic…
— Adam Cochran (adamscochran.eth) (@adamscochran) October 31, 2023
Crypto trader tmnxeq offered a different hypothesis, suggesting that the accounts may be shut down as part of a “cost-cutting/ restructuring exercise.” In its statement, Circle referred to individual accounts as “legacy consumer accounts,” which seems to imply that they were no longer being used as much as they had previously.
After publication, Circle confirmed that new individual accounts have not been offered for some time. “We’re offboarding legacy individual consumer accounts for a product that we have not offered for several years,” the representative stated.
Update November 1, 1:47 pm UTC: This article has been updated to include an additional statement from Circle.