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USD Coin, USDC
$11 302 585 867
24 Hour Volume
$1 493 271 143
11 306 949 960
USD Coin / US Dollar Chart, USDC/USD ()
About USD Coin
USD Coin is a crypto project of the CENTRE consortium designed to convert US dollars into a similar cryptocurrency. It offers retail and institutional customers stablecoin USDC with open source code. The project is entirely transparent and properly managed by licensed companies.
USD Coin solves two pressing issues: high volatility of cryptocurrencies and difficulties when converting them to fiat money. This stablecoin allows saving assets during crypto market turmoil. It is supported by 17 wallets. USDC is also accepted as a means of payment by 19 blockchain platforms and 21 applications, including dApps and DeFi.
Circle startup history
It all started with fintech startup Circle established by Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville. In July 2013, they registered Circle Internet Financial Ltd in Dublin (Ireland), in August 2013 — Circle Internet Financial Inc in Boston (USA). Both companies were involved in peer-to-peer and mobile payments and worked with fiat money. The American company was registered with FinCEN as a Money Services Business from the start. Mr Allaire is a chairman and CEO of Circle. Mr Neville started as a president and a board member, but in December 2019 he left the first position.
In 2013–2018, Circle attracted $246 million during seven rounds of funding. Such investment allowed the startup to join the crypto sector where it:
- got BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services (in September 2015);
- got an EMI licence from the UK Financial Conduct Authority (in April 2016);
- acquired crypto exchange Poloniex (in February 2018);
- acquired crowdfunding platform SeedInvest (in March 2019).
In May 2018, when Circle closed the fifth round (of the E series) with $110 million, the team announced the development of the stablecoin. Officially they issued USD Coin in September 2018. The first thing it did was replacing Tether used by Poloniex as an alternative to the dollar.
Centre consortium history
In October 2018, crypto exchange Coinbase Pro decided to participate in the promotion of the new project. It listed stablecoin for the first time. It did not list anything like USDC before. In addition, Coinbase and Circle arranged a joint consortium CENTRE. Its work includes the creation of a standard and rules for issuers of the stablecoin and for those who integrate its acceptance.
In November 2018, CENTRE attracted seed investment separately from the parent companies — $20 million from the Digital Finance Group.
In June 2019, Circle and Coinbase announced the expansion of the consortium. Now, any crypto and fintech companies can become members of CENTRE and issue USDC. To do that, they need to comply with the following criteria:
- To have a regulator’s licence to render financial services.
- To follow FATF recommendation and AML regulations.
- To comply with the technical and operational requirements of CENTRE.
- To get confirmation of custodial politics by CENTRE’s financial partners.
- To pass regular audits and provide reports on the status of reserves.
Nobody has been able to make the cut according to these criteria yet, so the consortium still has only two members — Circle and Coinbase.
USD Coin cryptocurrency aspects
USD Coin is issued not on its own blockchain (the project does not have one) but on the basis of Ethereum. Due to the fact that the issue of the cryptocurrency utilises smart contracts and the ERC-20 standard, technically it is not a ‘coin’ but a token with a stable price. A minimum fraction is 0.000001 USDC, which is way less than a cent.
In June 2020, Circle announced a partnership with Algorand Foundation. Soon, USDC will be concurrently issued on the basis of the Algorand blockchain. Usually, tokens created in different blockchains are not compatible with each other. As a solution, the Circle and Algorand teams developed a special bridge to convert USDC of different origins and exchange ALGO coins for USDC tokens — all these without involving intermediaries.
By the way, about intermediaries: since USD Coin was listed on first exchanges (Poloniex and Coinbase Pro), the others also started happily listing it. Now it is already traded on 50 crypto exchanges. However, it is not necessary to use trading platforms because you can buy or sell USD Coin for fiat directly through the consortium members:
- To buy USDC, the client transfers USD to the issuer’s bank account. The issuer, in their turn, creates a smart contract with the same number of tokens and sends them to the client.
- To sell USDC, the client makes a request for redemption and sends them to the issuer’s address. He transfers USD to the client’s bank account and burns the redeemed tokens through a smart contract so that the balance of the reserve and tokens in circulation converges.
For now, the direct exchange is available through Circle and does not charge fees for transactions, except for ether gas, the fiat equivalent of which is nevertheless deducted from US dollars sent to the client. Also, during the first operations through CENTER members, individuals must pass the KYC procedure. Issuers are forced to verify clients due to the requirements of the consortium and regulators.
The USDC rate is pegged to the US dollar. Circle and CENTER maintain parity so that one token is equivalent to one fiat dollar. However, due to market volatility, which is stronger than the capabilities of these companies, deviations sometimes occur.
On our USD Coin chart, you can observe all token’s extremes. For example, on 18 March 2020, USDC set a low of $0.9701. It also reached a high of $1.04 twice — on 26 November 2018 and 12 March 2020.
The backing of the USDC stablecoin
The USDC price is stable because all issued tokens are backed by reserves on the accounts of Circle Internet Financial Inc. The company really does store dollars one-to-one and does not use cunning tricks like throwing in other assets or accounts receivable into the reserve.
To prove the transparency, Circle monthly goes through audits, and their results (pdf documents) are published on centre.io and circle.com with slight delays. The first audit took place way back in October 2018, and since then, not a month went by without it.
|The first audit (October 2018)||Amount|
|Tokens issued into circulation||127,408,827 USDC|
|Fiat dollars in custody accounts||127,412,240.89 USD|
|The 20th audit (May 2020)||Amount|
|Tokens issued into circulation||730,800,467 USDC|
|Fiat dollars in custody accounts||746,657,617 USD|
The permanent auditor is the New York branch office of Grant Thornton LLP. The American representative office has been in business since 1924 and sits on the sixth position on the local market, so its respectability and authenticity of results do not raise flags.