Crypto giant Circle survived a harrowing weekend that saw its flagship USDC stablecoin break its peg to the dollar, falling below 90 cents early on Saturday before a series of moves by banks and regulators restored confidence in the token. As of midnight Sunday, USDC had recovered and was trading at near exact parity with the U.S. dollar.
On Sunday night, Circle put out a press release confirming that $3.3 billion in SVB deposits—which were part of the reserves that back the USDC coin—were safe, and that the token remains redeemable 1:1 with the dollar.
The company also announced that it had added Cross River Bank—known for providing banking services to the likes of Visa, Coinbase and fintech companies—as a new commercial banking partner for the purposes of minting and redeeming USDC. Circle also announced other “expanded relationships” for USDC redemptions that include BNY Mellon, which already provides custody services for the company’s reserves.
Circle’s announcement also noted that it had no exposure to Silvergate, a crypto friendly bank that announced on Sunday it would voluntarily liquidate its holdings as part of a takeover process by federal regulators.
This weekend’s USDC turmoil was part of a broader financial conflagration set off by the shocking collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which was the sixteenth biggest bank in the country and a financial pillar of the tech and venture capital world. The failure of SVB triggered a panic as the thousands of companies, including Circle, were unable to access billions in deposits. On Sunday, the Federal Reserve and other agencies calmed markets by announcing depositor at SBV would be made whole.
In the case of Circle, the upshot of all this is that the company appears to have survived the weekend crisis and sought to minimize further risk by strengthening ties with larger financial institutions. In addition to its deepening ties with BNY Mellon, Circle also relies on the giant asset manager BlackRock to handle transactions related to its USDC reserves.
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