Jeremy Allaire, Co-Founder and CEO, Circle 

David A. Grogan | CNBC

Payments and digital currency firm Circle plans to go public later this year through a merger with special purpose acquisition company Concord Acquisition Corp.

The deal, which Circle announced on Thursday, is expected to close in the fourth quarter and would value the company at $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.

The eight-year-old startup is best known for co-creating the U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin USD Coin, or USDC.

Stablecoins are digital currencies designed to be less volatile than cryptocurrencies by pegging their market value to an outside asset like the U.S. dollar. Tether…

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