US crypto exchange Coinbase has just joined the multitude of other crypto exchange platforms which offer stablecoins. As of today, the dollar-pegged USDC, which was developed by Goldman-funded startup Circle, is available for retail investors through the company’s Android and iOS apps, with integration with the Coinbase Pro trading platform to follow later.
Starting today, Coinbase customers in supported jurisdictions can buy, sell, send, and receive the USDC stablecoin. The advantage of a blockchain-based digital dollar is that it’s easier to send, use in decentralized apps, and store locally. Get started: https://t.co/O6tgs8tMxz pic.twitter.com/NN2NLY4gwE
— Coinbase (@coinbase) October 23, 2018
Acting as a sort of safe haven where crypto traders can park their assets in volatile markets, USDC is an Ethereum-based ERC-20 coin, which makes it easy for wallets, exchanges and other smart contracts to interact with the token.
Circle’s stablecoin is based on an open source fiat stablecoin framework developed and governed by the CENTRE project.
“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,” Coinbase spelled in a blog post.
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Tokenizing fiat currencies continues
USDC goes head-to-head with other stablecoins such as Gemini Dollar, Paxos Standard and Tether (USDT). The latter is a USD-backed stablecoin which is used as a proxy for physical money on many cryptocurrency exchanges. However, Circle’s New York BitLicense will offer a fully audited alternative, in contrast to Tether which has been the subject of controversy and regulatory scrutiny due to lingering questions about its cash reserves.
The explosion of stablecoins is seen by many as a step to further the adoption process of cryptocurrencies, as it would give users an introduction to the main benefits of blockchain technology without having to experience extreme market volatility.
Earlier this month, New York-based and regulated platform Gemini secured US regulatory approval for its own stablecoin, the Gemini dollar – another cryptocurrency pegged to the US dollar.
Coinbase is pressing ahead with new listings
Claire Wells from Circle will discuss the phenomenon at the London Summit 2018. She will be joining a panel that will discuss one of the biggest questions of the cryptocurrency industry – are tokens securities? She will be joined by industry professionals Aleks Nowak from BlockEx, and Xiao (Xiao) Chen, founder of AS Corporate Advisory.
The new coin is the seventh cryptocurrency to be added to Coinbase’s trading catalogue, following Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin and the most recently listed ZRX.
“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,” Coinbase said in its announcement.