Circle and Coinbase Join Forces on USD Coin

Circle and Coinbase Join Forces on USD Coin

By Ian Demartino - min read
Updated 25 August 2020

We previously covered the announcement of Centre and its first product USD Coin by Circle. Today, they have announced some news that will likely put USD Coin into the second stablecoin spot, behind the much maligned Tether.

Coinbase has been announced as a co-founder of Centre and USD Coin alongside its sometimes rival Circle. Users are now able to buy and redeem USD Coin through both Coinbase and Circle, giving users easy access to some of the most popular exchanges in the US.

Their announcement reads:

“Coinbase and Circle share a common vision of an open global financial system built on crypto rails and blockchain infrastructure, and realizing this vision requires industry leaders to collaborate to build interoperable protocols and standards. CENTRE was formed to establish these standards and to build the technology needed for fiat to work over the open internet.

The first major initiative from CENTRE is USD Coin, a stablecoin technology and network scheme. Circle became the first issuer of USDC just weeks ago and with this announcement, Coinbase is making it available to customers on Coinbase Pro and Customers can tokenize dollars into USDC and redeem USDC into dollars through both Circle and Coinbase, making USD Coin the industry’s first open, fungible and interoperable fiat stablecoin.”

According to Circle, 40 companies, including wallets, exchanges and dApps already support USD Coin.

In an email to CoinJournal, Circle co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire explained further:

Coinbase joining us to co-found CENTRE and launch USDC reinforces the value of a shared, standard, interoperable stablecoin. Like internet standards, USDC is now not owned by one single company, but distributed among network participants according to clear rules, regulations, and collectively-owned software. When we began work on CENTRE and USDC last year, we envisioned collaborating with a consortium of industry leaders to set new standards for global value exchange and financial contracts. We’ve been thrilled to collaborate with Coinbase on CENTRE, and we look forward to welcoming more partners who share this vision.

There are currently several stablecoins, all hoping to capitalize on any potential problems with Tether. While most of them are unlikely to unseat the already entrenched Tether without a catastrophic failure, the Coinbase and Circle backed USD Coin is likely the only one that has the name recognition and institutional backing to stand up to it.

And if Tether’s well documented problems balloon into something larger, USD Coin will undoubtedly be the favorite to take the top spot. Circle has taken investments from Goldman Sachs, giving it credibility with institutional traders.

A stablecoin is a cryptocurrency with a price that stays at or around a corresponding fiat currency, in most cases the US Dollar. There are about half a dozen popular stablecoins in existence and Tether is by far the most popular.

But it has been plagued by accusations of not actually being backed by fiat money and that the company behind it is in financial trouble. While nothing has been proven, the suspicion alone has caused some volatility in what has otherwise been a successful stablecoin.

Regardless if Tether continues to keep its peg to USD or not, having more stablecoins, particularly one with the backing that USD Coin has, can only limit investor risk.

USD Coin is now available through both Circle and Coinbase.