Monday, 10 December, 2018

Circle is launching a USD-backed cryptocurrency with Bitmain funding

Representations of the Ripple Bitcoin Etherum and Litecoin virtual currencies are seen on a PC motherboard in this illustration Representations of the Ripple Bitcoin Etherum and Litecoin virtual currencies are seen on motherboard in this illustration
Jean Garcia | 17 May, 2018, 14:06

Like Tether's USDT, the new USD coin is meant to be a "tokenized" version of the U.S. dollar.

In addition to the digital version of the USA dollar, Circle announced a $110 million funding round led by cryptocurrency mining company Bitman, bringing its capitalisation to almost $3 billion.

This week's moves further reflect Circle's on-again, off-again enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies - or at least, their overt endorsement of them in public.

It added the cryptocurrency exchange when it acquired Poloniex in February for a rumored price of $400 million, according to a Fortune report based on anonymous sources.

In an official press release, Circle revealed the release of USD Coin, a stablecoin backed by real FIAT currency (in this case US Dollars) that would be used on a daily basis in Poloniex, to begin with. Circle's products and services include a mobile payments app, a cryptocurrency trading desk for large "institutional" buyers and sellers, a new app that lets individuals invest in cryptocurrencies, and a cryptocurrency exchange. Jumping on the Ethereum bandwagon Following the close of the round, Circle said it would create a new cryptocurrency, that uses the Ethereum blockchain, with it's value "pegged to the price of the USA dollar", according to Reuters. "USDC provides a full reserve USA dollar-backed stablecoin, and is based on the open source fiat stablecoin framework developed and governed by CENTRE, which will provide independent oversight of Circle's offering", Circle details in its announcement post.

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Circle also reported that Bitmain is one of the most important and forward-thinking companies in crypto, and has become a critical infrastructure provider for the entire crypto economy.

Circle holds this belief close to its heart that the value of a cryptocurrency which is pegged to be as high as a stable, traditional currency can help in driving adoption of systems based on the blockchain. Circle is now the only member of CENTRE, but the company plans to lure in more firms in the near future.

Circle says that USDC will be particularly useful for cryptocurrency traders to hedge quickly out of trading positions by converting their assets to USDC, which will be stable because of its backing by a fiat currency.

While other cryptocurrencies can be mined when users lend a part of their computer's processing power to help maintain the updated ledger of all transactions, it seems like the only way to acquire new USD Coin - which will operate on the Ethereum platform for the foreseeable future - is to purchase them. We are excited to be working directly with Bitmain on realizing our shared vision. USDC will be ERC-20 tokens minted, issued, and redeemed based on network rules defined by CENTRE.

"Circle can be an issuer of U.S. dollar coin, Square (a payments company) could be an issuer".

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