USD Coin (USDC) is an open-source smart contract-based stablecoin issued by an international fintech firm called Circle and the US-based cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase. Together they make up the Centre Consortium, responsible for generating and redeeming all USDC tokens.
Launched in October 2018, USDC is fiat-collateralized and is pegged to the US Dollar at a 1:1 ratio. This is possible because a mix of cash, cash equivalents, and short-term US Treasury bonds backs USDC. Approximately 10 percent of USDC reserves are held in cash and cash equivalents, with the remainder in short-term US Treasury bonds.
Centre believes that true financial interoperability between crypto and fiat currencies is possible only if there's a price-stable means of value exchange between the two. USDC was created to address the need for a fiat-backed stablecoin that is transparent and secure, which was lacking in the market at the time.
Its creators, Circle and Coinbase, wanted to offer a stablecoin backed by real-world assets, audited regularly, and provide high transparency and governance. USDC was designed to be more transparent financially and operationally than other stablecoins in the market, which would help build trust and encourage greater adoption.
Grant Thornton is an independent accounting firm that conducts monthly attestations on the USDC stablecoin. The firm provides independent verification of the reserves backing USDC and ensures that they are held in a manner consistent with the Centre Consortium reserve policy.
Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, has emphasized the importance of transparency and accountability in the operation of USDC, and the involvement of Grant Thornton is a key component of that effort. USDC's commitment to transparency, backed by the independent verification provided by Grant Thornton, provides greater confidence and trust for users looking to buy a stablecoin.
USDC is built on the Ethereum blockchain, a decentralized platform that enables the creation of smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps). USDC is an ERC-20 token compatible with any Ethereum wallet or exchange supporting ERC-20 tokens. The technology behind USDC is designed to provide stability and reliability for users, making it a popular choice for cryptocurrency traders.
Each USDC token is backed by one US Dollar, meaning its value is directly tied to the value of the US Dollar. This provides a high level of stability, which can be particularly useful during market volatility.
The Centre Consortium oversees the creation and management of USDC tokens. It ensures that each USDC token is backed by a corresponding US Dollar and that the supply of USDC tokens is always equal to the amount of US Dollars held in reserve.
USDC is also currently issued on multiple blockchains, including Ethereum (ERC-20 format), Tron (TRC-20 format), Algorand (ASA format), Avalanche (ERC-20 format), Flow (FT format), Stellar (as a Stellar asset), Solana (SPL format), and Hedera (SDK format).
Being one of the most popular USD-pegged stablecoins, USDC is finding widespread application as a value storage medium during volatile market conditions or simply for people who want fiat exposure outside the traditional banking rails. Hence, many traders move their crypto allocations to USDC to avoid the impact of abrupt price changes. This could explain why the demand for USDC increases considerably during bearish periods.
USDC is also commonly used by many exchange platforms for on-ramping new entrants in the crypto industry and is widely accepted as payment for goods and services in online and offline markets.
As the USDC coin resides on multiple prominent blockchains, including Ethereum as an ERC-20 token, it can be seamlessly used in any dApps running on these networks, including in popular games where users can easily purchase in-game assets with their USDC tokens.
Another use case for USDC tokens is remittance transfers. USDC tokens have increasingly been used for remittance transfers because they offer several benefits over traditional ones, including a greater sense of security, access, lower fees, and higher speeds. In addition, some companies, such as fintech company Circle, offer specific services designed for remittance payments using USDC.
Idle USDC tokens can generate passive income on various crypto exchanges, including OKX. Users can visit OKX Earn and select from the available USDC staking plans to earn interest.
Like most of its peers, USDC is issued on demand and doesn't have a cap on its maximum supply. The number of USDC tokens in circulation changes based on how many are issued and burnt by commercial issuers.
New USDC coins can be issued directly by Centre to buyers at a 1:1 ratio to the dollar whenever necessary. For example, if a buyer wants to buy $15 million worth of USDC, Centre can immediately mint 15 million new USDC for the buyer. Likewise, if a user with 15 million USDC wants to redeem them for US Dollars, Centre pays them $15 million and destroys their 15 million USDC tokens, thereby removing them from circulation.
USDC was founded in 2018 by Centre, an independent member-based consortium that comprises P2P services company Circle and the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
It was created to provide a layer of trust and transparency to the stablecoin industry. USDC allows users to operate with confidence and security in the crypto market, knowing that each unit of their USDC holdings can be redeemed for 1 USD whenever they wish.
Unlike most other crypto and stablecoin projects, Circle and Coinbase are fully regulated by leading US authorities. This has helped USDC's cause and helped pave the way for the stablecoin's international expansion.
USDC is a stablecoin issued by Centre, a joint venture between fintech company Circle and cryptocurrency marketplace Coinbase. USD Coin is designed to be a stable crypto asset, always maintaining the same value relative to the dollar. There is no max supply of USDC, as new tokens are issued based on demand.
Easily buy USDC tokens on the OKX cryptocurrency platform. OKX’s spot trading terminal includes the USDC/USDT trading pair.
Alternatively, you can purchase USDC tokens via the OKX P2P Trading platform. P2P trading allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly from other users without needing a middleman.