A few weeks after Circle announced the launch of USD Coin (or USDC for short), Coinbase also announced that customers can now buy, sell, send and receive USDC on Coinbase. A USDC is a token that is worth exactly 1 USD. Its value is going to stay stable against USD — hence the name stablecoin for this type of coins.
Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies, you can be sure that the value of your USDC wallet isn’t going to fluctuate like crazy. It opens up new possibilities and use cases.
While Coinbase lets you hold USD in your Coinbase account, this isn’t safe. If somebody hacks into your account, you could end up with an empty wallet. That’s why you should always try to control the keys of your wallet and transfer your coins to a safer wallet, such as a Ledger wallet or at least a software solution like MyEtherWallet.
But if you want to short cryptocurrencies without sending your USD back to your bank account, you can now convert your tokens to USDC. This way, it’ll be easier to buy cryptocurrencies again in the future. And maybe you can avoid paying taxes by hiding your tokens from taxation authorities…
USDC also works just like a regular token. You just need a wallet address to send some USDC. USDC is an ERC-20 token, which means that it leverages the Ethereum blockchain and ecosystem.
But stablecoins need to be regulated more tightly. Circle, Coinbase and a bunch of other companies have created the CENTRE consortium to define the policies around stablecoins. For instance, if you want to handle stablecoins on your exchange, you need to send regular audited reports that prove that you have as many USD sitting on a bank account as issued tokens.
With both Coinbase and Circle on board, it’s clear that USDC is off to a good start. Now let’s see if there’s enough interest to create other stablecoins based on EUR, CNY and other fiat currencies.