Circle Rolls Out New Stablecoin, Pegged to the US Dollar

Called USD Coin (USDC), this is the latest stablecoin project to emerge this month after the Winklevoss twins launched GUSD, Paxos introduced PAX, and Carbon revealed CUSD.

The crypto startup Circle said on Wednesday it had issued a new 1:1 dollar-collateralized virtual coin, becoming the fourth company to bring out a stablecoin this month. This answers the mystery of the new coin reported about by Cryptovest on September 25. The project, dubbed USD Coin (USDC), is a partnership between Circle and the crypto consortium CENTRE.

USDC is an Ethereum-based ERC20 token and its deposits and withdrawals are already available on the Poloniex cryptocurrency exchange, which Circle acquired earlier this year. Poloniex will add USDC trading in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Tether (USDT) soon. Huobi, OKEx, DigiFinex, CoinEx, KuCoin, Coinplug, and XDAEX will also support the new stablecoin, but Circle did not disclose when these platforms will add USDC.

“US dollars from bank accounts, convert those dollars into tokens usable everywhere the internet reaches (subject to the token’s compliance controls), and redeem USDC tokens and cash out to bank accounts,” Circle explained in a statement.

USD Coin is formally launched by CENTRE, a Circle-owned consortium that includes several crypto players including Bitmain, according to Blomberg. Circle wants to spin off the consortium soon and therefore, labeled itself as the “first commercial issuer” of USDC.

Other companies can also issue the new stablecoin if the entities meet several criteria like possessing a license to handle electronic money and having an audited anti-money laundering (AML) program that complies with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards.

USDC’s commercial issuers also should:

“Back all [USDC] tokens on a fully reserved basis and provide monthly published proof of reserves attested to by certified public auditors. Support fungible exchange and redemption of USDC tokens from other authorized issuer members.”

On a protocol level, USD Coin received support from Kyber Network, IDEX, Radar Relay, and Tokenlon. Dharma, Origin, BlockFi, MoneyToken, Melonport, and Centrifuge will cooperate with the new project for payments, lending, and investing, Circle said in a blog post.

USDC is the latest stablecoin project this month. The Winklevoss twins launched Gemini Dollar (GUSD), and Paxos introduced Paxos Standard (PAX) after receiving approvals from the New York State financial regulator. US crypto company Carbon also launched a dollar-pegged coin, called CUSD several days ago. Carbon, as well as Circle, did not disclose any information about having regulatory licenses or not.

Currently, the largest player in the stablecoin market is Tether (USDT) with more than $2.8 billion in market capitalization.