The new USDC stablecoin is fully collateralized by US dollars and supported by Coinbase and Circle as co-founding members of the CENTRE Consortium
Starting today, Coinbase customers in supported jurisdictions can buy, sell, send and receive the USD Coin stablecoin (USDC) at Coinbase.com and in the Coinbase iOS and Android apps. US customers outside New York state can buy and sell, and customers around the world can send and receive. More geographies will be available in the future.
This is the first time Coinbase has supported a stablecoin, which is fundamentally different from other cryptocurrencies. Unlike bitcoin or ether, a USDC is meant to represent a single US dollar (USD) that does not move up or down relative to its reference currency. One USDC is a 1:1 representation of a US dollar on the Ethereum blockchain.
Each USDC is 100% collateralized by a corresponding USD held in accounts subject to regular public reporting of reserves. The underlying technology behind the USDC was developed collaboratively between Coinbase and Circle, in our capacity as partners and co-founders of the new CENTRE Consortium.
The advantage of a blockchain-based digital dollar like USDC is easier to program with, to send quickly, to use in dApps, and to store locally than traditional bank account-based dollars. That’s why we think of it as an important step towards a more open financial system.
Use cases for USDC today include:
Improved send and receive. Two Ethereum wallets can quickly send and receive any amount of USDC at any time of day. Large transfers for business purposes become as easy as small e-commerce payments. Consumers can use the Coinbase app to send USDC to someone, while remaining confident the value is stable.
Use in dApps and exchanges. There is a burgeoning ecosystem of crypto dApps, exchanges, and blockchain-based games. A USDC follows the ERC20 standard, which means it can be used with any app that accepts tokens based on that standard. The USDC can thus be used as a stable digital dollar to buy items in the crypto ecosystem, from Cryptokitties to tickets for blockchain-based games.
A programmable dollar. For developers and fintech companies, a digital dollar like USDC is easier to program with. For example, given the private keys for USDC, a program can easily send and receive them back and forth using the public Ethereum blockchain.
Today’s launch is made possible by the collaboration between Coinbase and Circle, as co-founders of the new CENTRE Consortium. Both Coinbase and Circle operate with a compliance-first approach and a track record of security. That’s why we believe CENTRE is uniquely positioned to offer USDC to people who want to take advantage of the benefits of stablecoins.
USDC will be coming to Coinbase Pro in the coming weeks, and is already supported on Coinbase Wallet, a user-controlled wallet where people can store ERC20 tokens.