Circle today announced the launch of its USD stablecoin (USDC). Plans for the token were first announced in May, during a funding round that secured investments from Goldman Sachs and Bitmain, among others.
The ERC20-compliant cryptocurrency is available for trade on Poloniex, the exchange acquired by Circle in February. On Twitter, Circle claimed more than 30 companies were supporting USDC. While no announcement lists all of the 30+ companies, a second announcement on the launch mentioned BitGo, Cobo, Coinbase Wallet, CoolWallet S, Elph, imToken, Ledger, Status, and Trust as "providing native support for USDC," while Fortuna Blockchain, Centrifuge, and Melonport all made their own announcements claiming support for USDC.
Though CENTRE, the creator of the protocol for the USDC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Circle, the company is not restricting the creation of USDC to Circle. According to the announcement:
"While Circle may be the first USDC issuer, we will certainly not be the last. Leveraging $20m in funding raised last year, CENTRE is launching its broader membership framework which includes other established financial technology firms as additional issuers."
CENTRE also claims its platform enables the creation of other fiat-backed coins.
Launch of the USDC follows news that both Gemini and Paxos received approval from the state of New York for their own stablecoins earlier this month. Like those exchanges, Circle seems to want to create a reliable, trusted cryptocurrency that can be traded on its own platform.
To this end, CENTRE is stressing the controls in place for issuance of USDC, which include that issuers are licensed in their jurisdiction, have anti-money laundering programs, hold one-to-one reserves of fiat currency, and "meet other reporting and review requirements established by CENTRE."