Goldman Sachs-backed Circle Internet Financial Limited, a peer-to-peer payments technology company, has launched a stablecoin USD//Coin (USDC), an Ethereum ERC-20 token that is redeemable into USD. A consortium called Centre — which includes BitMain Technologies Ltd. among its members — will act as a platform for deposits and fiat conversions for the stablecoin.
The USDC will be available on Circle’s Poloniex exchange, as well as Huobi, OKCoin, KuCoin, and Coinbase. More than 20 companies are about to announce support for the USDC token, while others might add trading support through the open ERC-20 standard.
Centre will act as a regulator for USDC issuers, ensuring that they possess state licenses to handle electronic money such as banking, money transmission or trust charters, meet the anti-money-laundering (AML) standards and compliance programs that meet Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards, and have banking partners to hold their dollar reserves. Centre also reserves the right to allow certified public auditors to monthly review partners’ USDC reserves.
Circle emphasizes that USDC is the first of several stablecoins Centre expects to present. The company believes that fiat tokens will be able to eliminate artificial economic borders and enable a more efficient and inclusive global marketplace that connects every person on the planet.
In May, Circle first announced the project to launch USDC stablecoin. The company had raised $110 million to support the project and the Chinese bitcoin mining giant BitMain had led that investment round. Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire at the time mentioned in a media interview that this stablecoin will offer improved transparency. He also added that this would be a version of fiat that can move at the speed of the Internet with global reach, with much less cost, with high levels of security. Also, that it would be a huge improvement for how fiat money transmission can work around the world for consumers and for businesses who might want to collect digital payment with tokens.
Stablecoins are gaining popularity, where an issuer distributes a cryptographic token to customers in exchange for a specified fiat currency, like the U.S. dollar, at a fixed 1:1 exchange rate. We have already seen a number of stablecoin launches this month. First, the cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, founded by twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, launched a stable value coin or a stablecoin 'Gemini dollar', pegged 1:1 to the U.S. dollar (USD). Then, Paxos Trust Company, the bankchain & blockchain solutions provider, launched a stablecoin 'Paxos Standard (PAX), fully collateralized 1:1 by the U.S. dollar. Crypto company Carbon-12 Labs also launched 'CarbonUSD', a stablecoin, one-to-one backed with the US dollar (USD) on the Ethereum blockchain.
The first-ever Australian Dollar (AUD)-pegged stablecoin is also expected to get launched in 2019. The two companies - country's cryptocurrency exchange Bit Trade and blockchain employment platform Emparta are working on the design and development of this stablecoin.