USD Coin (USDC) is the second most popularly used stablecoin pegged to the US dollar. It gives all the benefits of cryptocurrency without worrying about high volatility due to its peg and is issued by regulated financial institutions.
The Circle consortium created USDC to combine innovation in the digital currency space with the traditional financial industry worldwide. Circle, the firm behind the creation of the USD Coin, is a global fintech firm that has partnered with leading blockchain networks to grow the adoption of its stablecoin.
The USDC price remains pegged to that of the US dollar, thanks to dollar reserves maintained by Circle. Circle maintains the peg, keeping the USD Coin price steady, as it holds an equal amount of US dollars in reserve as the number of USDC tokens in circulation. The firm holds the reserves in a combination of cash and short-term US Treasury bonds.
Some leading blockchains partnered with Circle and offer native support for the USDC coin include Ethereum, Solana, Algorand, Stellar, and Avalanche. On Ethereum, USDC functions as an ERC-20 token while it works as an ASA token on Algorand and an SPL token on the Solana network.
The USDC stablecoin has been developed to function on Circle’s open-source fiat stablecoin framework. The Circle consortium includes members from Circle and Coinbase and is tasked with the management of the USD Coin price, circulating supply, and other aspects.
Businesses looking to accept USDC as a payment option can do so with the integration of Circle’s APIs. These support card payments, wire transfers, ACH transfers, and more methods where consumers can leverage the convenience of blockchain-powered USDC instead of fiat currency.
The USDC stablecoin offers the stability of fiat currencies but the technical prowess of digital currencies, including decentralization, enables faster and more convenient cross-border digital transactions. USD Coin is the second largest stablecoin by market cap and trading volume, after Tether (USDT).
The Circle consortium continues to add to their dollar reserves as the amount of USDC in circulation goes up to maintain USD Coin price stability and keep it pegged to the USD. Due to this move, the USDC value remains relatively constant irrespective of the volatility and unpredictability of the broader crypto market.
Circle leverages the help of a leading accounting firm to ensure complete transparency in the operations. The accounting firm is responsible for verifying that the reserves held by the consortium match the USDC's circulating supply to keep the USD Coin price as close to that of the US dollar. This gives USDC the added benefit of achieving regulatory compliance and making it a far more reliable stablecoin than several of its peers.
The fiat-collateralized stablecoin USD Coin backed by regulated financial institutions was launched in October 2018 by the Centre consortium in partnership between Circle and Coinbase. The Centre consortium envisioned the USDC as a fully collateralized, price-stable digital asset that can be used more conveniently than fiat currency.
The Centre consortium wanted to offer a product that stood apart from cryptocurrencies, was considered a low-risk investment, and was convenient to convert from fiat currency. In addition, they focused on ensuring transparency by providing a governing framework for better regulation of their product, the USD Coin.
With this in mind, USDC shares a public report discussing the details of Centre’s fiat currency reserves every month. It also lays out clear guidelines for issuing and redeeming USDC for its members and partners.
Each member of the Centre consortium has to abide by stringent rules surrounding the licensing, compliance, accounting, and custody of fiat reserves. This has worked in USDC’s favor as it has never been caught in regulatory crosshairs.
USDC stablecoin offers a convenient way to enable digital payments, leveraging the advantages of digital currencies without the fears of price volatility. As a result, several businesses have started accepting USD Coin as a payment method, making it a faster and more convenient way to enable digital transactions.
The USDC value and market cap have also been driven higher because of the increasing interest in decentralized finance markets. Several DeFi and even CeFi apps offer high yields to users who lend USDC coins to improve such platforms' liquidity. Investing in USDC offers a promising passive income generation stream for crypto investors.
Many traders also find it beneficial to use USDC as the base currency when trading cryptocurrencies on CEXs and DEXs. Because of the USDC price stability mechanism and high liquidity and trading volume, executing buy and sell USD Coin trades are faster and more efficient.
The USD Coin is also an extremely convenient way to transfer digital payments among users worldwide. Leveraging the blockchain's distributed technology, remittances via USDC can happen in mere minutes. You can also redeem USDC via exchanges relatively quickly, thanks to its high liquidity and trading volume.
USDC is the second most popular stablecoin in the crypto market based on its market cap and trading volume. As a result, it is considered one of the most reliable dollar stablecoins in the market.
USD Coin is entirely backed by an equivalent reserve of US dollars in the form of cash and short-term US Treasury bonds. This means that Circle can always ensure that the total supply of the USDC remains pegged to the USD.
In addition, Circle has enlisted Grant Thornton's services to publish monthly attestation reports about the reserve balances that back the total supply of the USD Coin. Circle - the issuer of USDC, enjoys being a licensed money transmitter in over 46 US states and Puerto Rico.
This, by extension, makes USDC a regulated store of value. In the US, such stored value products fall under the regulatory purview of states’ money transmission laws.
For crypto investors, USDC is one of the most reliable digital assets to invest in as it can offer high yields on lending, especially in the DeFi space powered by smart contracts. As a stablecoin that is very much in demand, most CeFi and DeFi platforms provide high returns if you lend liquidity in USDC.
This offers a convenient way to put your USD Coin holdings to work and generate a passive revenue stream. It’s incredibly lucrative for HODLers who invest in crypto assets long-term instead of trading them on exchanges frequently, which could offer higher rewards but at higher risk.
You can lend USDC on KuCoin to earn attractive interest rates over a fixed period. You can choose to lock your funds for seven days, 14 days, or 28 days and generate interest on your USDC tokens.
USDT and USDC are the leading stablecoins used across the crypto market, including exchanges, wallets, and dApps. While both serve the same purpose by giving users a digital currency pegged to the US dollar that safeguards against the volatility of several other digital assets, there are critical differences between them:
Launched in 2014, Tether (USDT) enjoys the advantage of being the first such offering in the stablecoin market. As a result, most cryptocurrency pairs are listed for trading against the USDT instead of the USDC. More crypto pairs are trading against the USDT, giving it higher liquidity, trading volume, and market cap. than the USDC.
USDC is backed by equivalent dollar reserves, making it a more reliable dollar stablecoin than USDT. In addition, the issuer of USD Coin - Circle publishes a monthly report revealing the US dollar reserves that back the USDC and maintain its price stability.
On the other hand, Tether has lower transparency levels, making it more vulnerable to regulatory scrutiny. USDT has been at the receiving end of multiple investigations as its backer is not as transparent about its dollar reserves backing its peg to the US dollar.
Several experts have called USDC a safer stablecoin since the Centre consortium remains dedicated to its efforts around compliance and regulations by the government. In addition, the more transparent business practices also make USD Coin more reliable than Tether.
This has caused USDT to experience more price change than USDC in times of highly volatile market conditions. As USD Coin's adoption rises, driving its market cap to increase, it has been eating into USDT's market share.