USDC’s ‘Breakthrough’ Use-Case, US Govt. to Distribute Aid to Venezuela via the Stablecoin

With the support and licensing from the US Government, Circle is providing foreign aid through the USDC stablecoin to the people of Venezuela. Circle said,

“While this may be the first time, it will no doubt not be the last as global stablecoins firmly arrive on the world stage as a foundational infrastructure in the future of the international monetary system.”

USDC is the fastest-growing stablecoin of 2020, growing 500% in the past 8 months, with a market cap of over $2.8 billion.

In an announcement on Friday, Circle said it has been “approached” to help the “legitimate elected government of Venezuela” to distribute the financial aid to front-line medical workers in the country who, besides coronavirus, are also battling with hyperinflation, international sanctions, and economic collapse under the Nicolas Maduro regime who had launched his own oil-backed crypto petro.

After imposing sanctions on the Maduro regime, the US government seized Maduro and his government’s assets, which they now seek to get in the hands of the Venezuelans fighting COVID-19, for which they have turned to blockchain and fintech.

In collaboration with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, led by President-elect Juan Guaido and U.S.-based fintech innovator Airtm, aid will be distributed by leveraging dollar-backed USDC.

The Guaidó government will basically use the seized funds to mint USDC, which will be then sent to Airtm, a blockchain-based bank and dollar-denominated payment platform that powers digital payments throughout North, Central, and South America.

The USDC will then be sent to Venezuelan healthcare workers’ accounts as AirUSD — Airtm’s stablecoin-backed dollar token.

“All of this is powerful, inspiring, and underscores the ability of the internet and digital currency to transform… how value and money moves,” said Circle adding that

“it marks a historic moment where in order to execute on US government foreign policy objectives, economic and political leaders have turned to stablecoins.”

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase and Circle Launch Major Upgrade in USDC 2.0; Stablecoin Sees ‘Unprecedented Adoption’

Coinbase and Circle, the members of the Centre Consortium, has announced a major upgrade to the stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) protocol and smart contract.

Launched in September 2018, this regulated stablecoin saw an “unprecedented adoption” during the pandemic, surpassing $1.4 billion, up from about $450 million at the beginning of March, and recording more than $90 billion in on-chain transaction volume.

With the latest upgrade, USDC will become “significantly easier for people to use USDC in payments, commerce, and peer-to-peer transactions,” besides adding additional security to the smart contract.

More importantly, Centre says USDC 2.0 is introducing “gasless sends.” Transaction on the Ethereum network involves “gas fees” and in order to pay this, most digital wallets are required to purchase and hold a balance of Ether (ETH).

Now, with the latest upgrade, the idea is to remove the barrier to “mainstream adoption and broad usage of digital dollar stablecoins for internet payments.”

The official announcement states USDC 2.0 enables users to delegate the payment of the gas fees to another address, giving the developers the option to either pay the fee on behalf of the customer or deduct the fees in USDC.

As such, customers will be able to send and receive USDC payments on a peer-to-peer basis using only USDC.

“These simplified and improved user experience flows will accelerate the virality of making and receiving payments using USDC on the internet.”

Another thing USDC 2.0 introduces is a new set of on-chain multiple signature contracts which means administrative operations can be managed on-chain, in a result, improving the “security, auditability and in turn resilience.”

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Author: AnTy

Circle and Coinbase’s USDC Becomes Second Stablecoin to Hit 1 Billion Circulating Supply

USDC, the dollar-pegged stablecoin launched by Circle and Coinbase back in October 2018, has become the second stablecoin to see its circulating supply surpass the 1 billion mark after Tether’s USDT.

USDT maintains a commanding lead within the stablecoin market with its total market cap exceeding $10 billion on June 30, only behind Bitcoin and Ethereum. This also makes USDC the 18th cryptocurrency in the decentralized space to have a 10-digit circulating supply.

The cryptocurrency market has seen a surprising uptick in demand for stablecoins like USDT and USDC, especially after the Black Thursday crash of the crypto space, which saw the value of Bitcoin and almost every other altcoin fall by over 50%.

The volatile nature of cryptocurrencies has made investors seek out stable assets to hedge their risk in troubled times. Thus the demand and use of stable coins have grown significantly.

Joao Reginatto, director of product manager at Circle, took to Twitter to announce the $1 billion circulating supply for USDC.

The Stablecoin Market Dominated by Tether

Stablecoins were invented to help provide easy on-boarding for investors, as in the beginning, and even now, many countries do not allow for direct purchase of crypto via fiat. Consequently, stablecoins have been in high demand since the advent of crypto exchanges. However, now it has become an integral part of the ecosystem, and people are also using it to hedge their risk.

With several stable coins available in the market including USDT, USDC, Paxos Standard (PAX) and TrueUSD (TUSD), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), and many more, a majority of the market is captured by USDT itself, where it enjoyed a market dominance of over 90% followed by USDC with near 3%-5%. The remaining stable coins control a fraction of the available market.

Source: Skew

A recent study from Skew suggests that USDT’s dominance is no more limited just to spot markets, and USDT-margined derivatives contracts are emerging and could gradually replace coin-margined contracts over the next year.

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Author: James W

Circle To Boost Adoption of USD Coin (USDC) With Business Accounts and API Services

As Circle looks to dive deeper into making its stablecoin (USDC) a household name, it is continuing to spin-off acquired projects that aren’t a core business. Next up on the chopping block is the crowdfunding platform SeedInvest that it bought back in October of 2018.

Circle has the intention to remain focused on the development of stablecoin products, announced Jeremy Allaire, Circle’s CEO and one of the firm’s co-founders. Included in this process, the company will roll out new Business Accounts and Circle APIs, that will allow developers to build on top of the USDC network.

Circle Has Many Revenue Streams

While Circle has many revenue streams, it’s still trying to grow its development and research wings, on which it has focused on ever since the summer of 2019, when it started to offer USDC products

Over the last year, Circle sold the crypto exchange Poloniex that it has bought in 2018, closed its payments app Circle Pay, also sold Circle Invest and Circle Trade to Voyager and respectively Kraken, not to mention is at the moment considering to sell SeedInvest too.

SeedInvest, No Longer at the Core of Circle’s Business

According to Allaire, SeedInvest is no longer at the core of the business conducted at Circle. The CEO’s said,

“We exited the exchange business … so the need for that set of licensing just doesn’t exist anymore. The second thing is this whole kind of tokenization, having regulated broker-dealers and tokenized securities, that’s been slow-rolled.”

Ever since January, the company has also reduced its number of employees from 300 to 125 as a result of its many departments being sold. Regarding this, Allaire had to say that:

“We had about 100 people who went with these different spinouts … [it was] a natural way for people to go with those businesses and product lines.”

What’s Next for Circle?

Speaking to Coindesk, Allaire said his company is planning to announce additional stablecoin products.

“We’ve been executing like crazy on USDC,” he said. “We’ve tokenized over $1.6 billion in USDC, crossed the $500 million market cap recently.”

These products will firstly include new business accounts that Circle is planning to offer to startups the new products for free and then transition to a usage-based subscription afterward.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Circle Gets Leaner As Digital Asset Broker Voyager Acquires Crypto Investing App

Circle Invest, the digital asset investment app of Circle Internet Financial Ltd., has been sold for an equity stake to Canada-based Voyager Digital Ltd.

Voyager will now issue to Circle common shares that represent around 4% ownership at Circle. It will also reimburse some costs to the Boston-based company. On Tuesday in New York, Voyager shares were traded at around 22 cents.

Circle To Focus on USD Coin (USDC)

First being focused on retail-oriented cryptocurrency businesses, Circle has started as of late to pay more attention to its own USDC stablecoin. Back in December 2019, they sold Circle Trade, an over-the-counter business based on trading that it owned to Kraken, the famous crypto exchange.

Voyager to Add Over 40,000 Retail Accounts

With the new acquisition, Voyager is going to add over 40,000 retail accounts, so its customer base is sure to reach more than 200,000 users, as a statement released by the company says. The transaction for the agreement is supposed to be closed by the end of next month.

As the partnership says, the collaboration is meant to deliver the companies’ joint customer base rapid and global payments at low costs. This is what Voyager’s chief executive officer, Steve Ehrlich, had to say about the matter:

“It’s transformative for Voyager in that we get to scale our business in an efficient way with such a great partner as Circle.”

Circle Invest’s Retail Customers Will Gain Access to Voyager’s Brokerage

Retail customers of Circle Invest will gain access to Voyager’s services for brokerage, including the 0 commission trading of over 30 crypto assets, digital transfers, secure omnibus custody portfolio, and wallet management tools and lock-up free interest yield for the popular coins. This is what Circle’s Director of Product Management, Rachel Mayer said about her company’s agreement with Voyager:

“We’re very happy to be able to provide Circle Invest customers with a broader depth of retail investment features through the transaction with Voyager.

This transition comes at a time when Circle is launching new platform services and products for businesses around the world to help them bring the benefits of stablecoins into their products and grow global commerce in new and innovative ways.”

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Author: Oana Ularu

Top Onecoin Ponzi Scheme Recruiters Launch A Clone Called Circle Of Finance (Invicta)

  • OneCoin token Ponzi scam affiliates are in the pipeline to form a new tokenized project, Circle of Finance (Invicta).
  • Two of the top ranking officials in the Onecoin scam, Veselina Valkova and Habib Zahid, are associated with the scam.

In late November, details emerged of the OneCoin Ponzi scheme spinoff, Circle of Finance (Invicta) which sounded a whole lot more like the its predecessor. According to BehindMLM, the company is incorporated under the name TradeInvicta, an Estonian based shell company set up by Heaven Invest and exists in name only, no transactions made through it.

According to general company information from the Estonian authorities, TradeInvicta is registered under Veselina Valkova and Habib Zahid, two of the many Onecoin scammers, who ran away with over $1 billion USD in users funds. Habib is believed to have been a top recruiter in Onecoin scam with Veselina playing a more key role as one of the inner circle members of the founder of Onecoin, Dr. Ruja Ignatova, who has since vanished.

At the launch of the Circle of Finance (Invicta), many of those who followed were convinced the project was a resurrection of the Onecoin scam. However, through their marketing and advertisements, the new entity is branding itself as a completely different platform despite offering the same corny promises Onecoin offered investors.

The new platform promises to offer users a network including forex, network marketing, e-commerce, payment processing and exchange & remittances. Only exchanges were missing from Onecoin’s initial plan.

This is a pretty basic MLM scam that is mainly targeting the Onecoin customers who were scammed earlier and the newbies in the field with an option to cash out on an exchange sound interesting. While the site is yet to be up and running, it is important for cryptocurrency investors to be on the lookout. We will follow up any details arising from the Ponzi as it arises.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Circle CEO Says USDC Outpacing Other Stablecoins, Adding Tether’s Greatest Feature is ‘Opacity’

Jeremy Allaire, co-founder, and CEO of Circle, a peer-to-peer payments technology company is making the prediction for 2020.

His predictions are solely focused on stablecoins that he believes will continue to show prowess this year.

“While the media gets spun-up about CDEP and Libra, the industry continues to build. 2020 will continue to be a major year for stablecoins,” said Allaire.

According to him, mainstream use-cases will be built on the fiat-backed digital currency on public chains.

Why hyping on Libra and CBDC? Look at USDC

He points out how the media and industry are hyping over the un-launched stablecoins, which could be social media giant Facebook’s Libra which is expected to launch this year but has been gaining extreme criticism from the regulators all over the world.

Allaire says while those stablecoins and central bank digital currencies are seeing all the limelight, the crypto industry is already seeing USDC’s continued outpacing with about $520 million USDC in circulation.

ERC20 token USD Coin (USDC) is a stablecoin backed by US dollars, which are “held in reserve by regulated financial institutions.” It is the brainchild of CENTRE, an open-source technology bootstrapped by a contribution from Circle and US-based crypto exchange Coinbase.

Others suffering while Tether’s greatest feature is opacity

While USDC has been growing, Allaire points out PAX has flat-lined at $240 million, TUSD in rapid decline and GUSD and BUSD are DOA (dead on arrival).

However, he does note Tether’s dominance, stating, “Tether continues to be largest stablecoin, offering an attractive option as an unregulated offshore USD shadow banking solution for China and Asia.”

But not before taking a jab at its lack of transparency about its fiat backing. In April this year, it has been revealed that USDT, the most popular stablecoin and 4th largest digital currency by market cap is only 74% backed by fiat.

“It’s greatest feature is its non-compliance and opacity,” said Allaire.

Apart from stablecoins, Allaire added about Decentralized Financing (DeFi), saying “DeFi scaling up open finance.”

DeFi is a conventional financial tool built on the blockchain. Currently, $678 million are locked in DeFi, up 133% from $290 million in January, as per DeFi Pulse.

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Author: AnTy

Former Circle OTC Head Lays Out Real Reason For Bitcoin’s 2017 Pump, And It Wasn’t Tether

  • Circle was aware of the increase of Tether at the same time that Bitcoin’s price increased.
  • Dan Matuszewski spoke about rumors concerning Circle and Tether during an interview with On the Brink.

There have already been many news media outlets that have voiced their views of the issues concerning Tether, as big names like Bloomberg reported on the possibility that Tether has been used for price manipulation and stabilization of BTC.

Bitfinex has continually denied these accusations, but there are many studies that support the correlation between Tether’s activity and increased Bitcoin value. Dan Matuszewski, the co-founder of CMS Holdings and a former head of OTC trading with Circle, decided to speak up with Nic Carter of On the Brink, as reported by The Block.

During the interview, Matuszewski stated that the correlation between Tether and Bitcoin is “not true whatsoever.” He added,

“I say this as someone who created and redeemed billions of Tether over the course of my life and specifically created it in 2017.”

Instead of boosting up Bitcoin’s price, Matuszewski states that the price of Bitcoin was on the rise already. As the price of Bitcoin seemingly was lower on Bitfinex at the time, rather than Coinbase, a spread emerged, and many traders chose to mint massive Tether volumes to purchase Bitcoin for cheap.

Matuszewski stated that there was incentive to generate more tethers, but Bitfinex didn’t create them from nothing. Matuszewski clarified,

“I can tell you that billions of dollars were sent in to make it like that. I can 100%, without question, verifiably guarantee it happened. I did it, I was there…That money wasn’t just being hypothecated. It wasn’t just coming out of thin air, that was happening.”

However, this type of transparency wouldn’t have served Circle well at the time, which is why nothing was announced.

Still, Matuszewski felt that the exchange should’ve been open about the stablecoin at the time. He stated:

“Internally, they’re like ‘why should we get involved in this? There’s a lot of hair on Tether right now. You don’t want to be named in all these actions; you don’t want the New York AG rolling you into this thing.’”

Essentially, the company found no good outcome that would come from their association, and they opted against dispelling the rumors around Tether. Matuszewski added:

“Here’s the deal, if something goes wrong with USDC there’s no chance that Coinbase and Circle are gonna fight whatever regulatory body comes in. They’re going to 100% give in. […] Tether is going to fight, and they have. So people like that, like maybe they won’t just hand over or put KYC restrictions in the chain, or at least they’ll try to fight it in court.”

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Author: Krystle M

Former Heads At Circle, Cumberland Launch CMS Holdings, A Crypto Proprietary Trading Firm

Dan Matuszewski, 31, who used to oversee the trading at the Circle cryptocurrency company, said in an interview given recently that he worried a lot during the time when cryptocurrency trading had just launched because there was the risk for the entire business to just disappear.

“There was always a non-zero chance that bitcoin would gap down, die, and never come back,” he said.

However, he now has enough confidence that the market has a great future, so he teamed up with Bobby Cho and Julien Collars-Seguin to pool over $10 million for their own cryptocurrency prop firm. Bobby Cho was the head of crypto trading for DRW, while Seguin used to work as a technology executive for Circle.

The New Company Has Started Its Activity in October

CMS Holdings, the company owned by Matuszewski and his partners has already started to trade, in October, this year. Cho said that it’s Cayman Islands registered and doesn’t trade money coming from outside investors. He also pointed out how the firm deploys funds just like a hedge fund, only it’s not structured like that.

The plan is to use 30% of the company’s money as cryptocurrencies, after which Bitcoin and Ethereum were mentioned. Cho also said that 40 to 50% of the money will be put in tokens that aren’t so frequently traded and digital assets, while the rest will remain to be put in crypto equity investments for the long-term. He was confident in the way things are evolving, seeing that this year the price for Bitcoin has doubled and reached $8,700. The 2017 record of $20,000 still hasn’t been reached, but this doesn’t mean the market is no longer looking promising. Matuszewski mentioned that cryptocurrency is safer now, so it’s unlikely for it to disappear.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Tron’s Justin Sun At the Center of Poloniex Exit from Circle; Just ‘Helping Out Some Friends’

Poloniex Cryptocurrency exchange is currently in the process of leaving its parent company, Circle. The firm recently announced that it would form Polo Digital Assets as a rebrand.

At the center of this major transaction is Tron Founder, Justin Sun. Anonymous sources from Circle confirmed to The Block that Justin is a major stakeholder in the ‘Asian Investment Group’. The firm is believed to be a major supporter of Poloniex in the exit process. The strategic exit comes less than two years since Circle acquired Poloniex.

Sources further revealed that Justin Sun had been to Circle’s HQ in Boston a few times. The Asian Investment Consortium under Justin is expected to play a major role in transitioning to Polo Digital Assets. As it stands, Poloniex internal employees have been offered the option to join the Crypto exchange as opposed to staying under Circle.

However, Justin recently tweeted that he is not buying anything, rather investing and to help his friends. He went on to further add that he bets on all exchanges that support TRX.

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Author: Lujan Odera