Circle Enters the Stablecoin Races With USDC
Stablecoin mania is showing no signs of abating. Within a week of Gemini launching its US dollar-pegged coin, Circle has followed suit. Named “USD Coin” (USDC), the ERC20 token has made its debut on Poloniex, the US exchange Circle purchased earlier this year.
Circle’s Stablecoin Is Good to Go
In hyperbolic terms, US financial giant Circle announced the launch of its stablecoin today as “a milestone for the entire crypto industry”. While the significance of USDC has been significantly overstated by its creators, Circle and Centre, it is nevertheless a noteworthy addition to the growing roster of stablecoins. Like Gemini’s recent stablecoin, USDC is fiat-backed, and thus represents a simple tokenization of dollar assets that customers have deposited.
“In addition to immediate usage on Circle Poloniex and Circle Trade, more than 20 companies are also announcing or launching support for USDC today,” wrote Circle. Lending platform Blockfi is one of them. “Other wallets, exchanges, and software applications can add support for the USDC token through the open ERC-20 standard.” USD Coin was created with the aid of Centre, an open source consortium that aims to define standards and policies for fiat stablecoins, primarily USDC.
Shutting the Stablecoin Door After the Horse Has Bolted
Circle’s stablecoin had been expected for some time, with details first revealed back in May, following a $110 million raise from investors that included Bitmain. In many respects, Circle is late to the races, delivering its native stablecoin long after the likes of Trueusd, Gemini, and Makerdao have all gained traction for their own offerings. Earlier today, news.Bitcoin.com reported on BCEX exchange listing the Gemini and Paxos Standard stablecoins.
Stablecoins occupy an odd space in the cryptoconomy. With many of the most recent coins, such as the Gemini dollar, largely constrained to a parent platform, they are not always in direct competition with one another. Moreover, with most traders seemingly unfussy which stablecoin they use so long as it retains its dollar peg, there’s little to distinguish many of the players in what’s become an extremely crowded space. While Circle’s launch of USDC is less than seismic, it will at least take another chip out of Tether’s market share, making the cryptosphere less susceptible to collapse, should anything untoward happen to USDT.