|Initial release||September 2018|
USD Coin (USDC) is a digital stablecoin that was pegged to the United States dollar. USD Coin is managed by a consortium called Centre, which was founded by Circle and includes members from the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and Bitcoin mining company Bitmain, an investor in Circle. USDC is issued by a private entity and should not be confused with a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Circle claims that each USDC is backed by a dollar held in reserve, or by other "approved investments", though these are not detailed. The wording on the Circle website changed from the previous "backed by US dollars" to "backed by fully reserved assets" by June 2021.
The tokenization of the US Dollar into USD Coin happens in a three-step process:
The redemption of USD Coins for US Dollars follows the process listed above but in reverse.
USDC reserves are regularly attested (but not audited) by Grant Thornton, LLP, and the monthly attestations can be found on the Centre Consortium's website.
USDC was first announced on 15 May 2018 by Circle, and was launched in September of 2018.
On March 29, 2021, Visa announced that it would allow the use of USDC to settle transactions on its payment network.
As of December 2021[update], Circle states that there are 42.5 billion USDC in circulation.