USD Coin (USDC) is an open-source and 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, which is 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 were held in cash and cash equivalents, with the remainder held 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 Center 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. 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. The Centre Consortium ensures that each USDC token is backed by a corresponding US dollar held in reserve 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 decentralized apps (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 Flash Deals under OKX Earn and select from the available USDC staking plans to earn high interest. Flash Deals have a limited term, usually up to 7 days, and appear irregularly.
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.
All USDC that exists is currently in circulation, and USDC is the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization behind only Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Tether (USDT).
New USDC coins can be issued directly by Centre to buyers at a 1:1 ratio to the dollar whenever necessary. So, 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.
Users can buy USDC from reliable crypto exchanges like OKX. Firstly, users can buy USDC with a valid credit or debit card. Click the "Buy with card" option from the "Buy crypto" header menu.
Users can also gain USDC tokens from the various trading pairs offerings in the OKX Spot trading terminal. Alternatively, visit OKX Convert to swap pre-existing crypto with USDC with zero fees and no price slippage.
Lastly, users can purchase USDC tokens on the OKX P2P Trading platform. P2P trading allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly from other users without needing a middleman.
With OKX, you can easily use USDC to buy other crypto assets, including Cardano (ADA), XRP (XRP), Polygon (MATIC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), using the Convert feature.
This conversion process incurs zero fees and has no slippage. Additionally, by using USDC to buy other cryptocurrencies, traders can avoid the risks of directly holding volatile digital currencies.
The OKX Crypto Converter Calculator offers a convenient solution for converting fiat currencies into US Dollars (USD), Euro (EUR), and British Pound (GBP) into USDC and other digital assets.
Through this platform, users can convert their fiat currency into any cryptocurrency they prefer while accessing real-time exchange rates. This feature helps in making an informed decision before executing a transaction.
There are various options to earn interest on USDC via OKX DeFi. One way is to stake USDC, while another is to provide liquidity to lending pools or participate in decentralized exchanges.
For staking USDC, users can access the Flash Deals section of OKX Earn and select from a range of staking plans that offer attractive interest rates.
These plans are usually short-term, run for up to 7 days, and are available irregularly. However, as they are provided on a first-come, first-served basis, users should frequently check the page to grab exciting deals before they expire.
USDC is a stablecoin that provides a price-stable means of value exchange between the crypto and fiat worlds. It is backed by a mix of cash, cash equivalents, and short-term US Treasury bonds, providing stability and liquidity to the token.
Additionally, USDC tokens can only be issued by licensed and regulated financial institutions that maintain full cash reserves equal to their circulating supply and regularly report their USD reserve holdings to independent agencies.
At OKX, we hold a 1:1 reserve of all customer assets on our platform and give you full transparency of our reserves and your funds. Learn more about OKX's Proof of Reserves here.
However, it is advised that you conduct your own research before buying any trending digital currencies or digital assets, as they are volatile, deemed high-risk, and prone to sharp price movements.