US-based cryptocurrency holding Circle plans to go public by the end of 2021 by merging with Concord Acquisition Corp. The combined company is valued at $4.5 billion.

Circle, a cryptocurrency payments company that issues one of the most popular stablecoins in the world, USDC, plans to go public by the end of this year through a merger with Concord Acquisition Corp.

The deal, which Circle announced on Thursday, is expected to close in the fourth quarter for the combined company worth $4.5 billion.

“We just see an incredible opportunity to grow rapidly and grow around the world, and we think that this set of transactions and becoming a public company really sets us up to be a trusted platform in this in this digital currency industry,” Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Thursday morning.

There is currently $26 billion USDC in circulation, Aller said.

“We’ve seen growing adoption and usage of the USDC across an ever-widening range of use cases. While we believe that the use case for USDC is the same as the use case for a dollar, for many of those use cases, USDC is the better product,” Jeremy Fox-Geen, Circle’s chief financial officer, according to a transcript of an investor conference call filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The announcement of the deal comes amid growing concerns from US regulators about the need to tighten controls over the circulation of stablecoins. In December 2020, the Stablecoin Bill was introduced to the US House of Representatives, providing for the need to license the work of stablecoin issuers like banking organizations. According to the document, issuers are obliged to maintain reserve funds equal to the number of issued stablecoins.