USDC runs on Ethereum, which is a decentralized, programmable blockchain that allows developers to create a huge range of apps and tokens. USDC was created to be a highly useful form of digital money that wouldn’t see value swing dramatically in the middle of a transaction.
It is backed by dollar-denominated assets of at least equal fair value to the USDC in circulation, in segregated accounts with US regulated financial institutions. You can buy USDC via exchanges like Coinbase, and hold it in any Ethereum compatible wallet. There are no fees for transferring a US dollar to USDC. The launch of USDC was powered by a collaboration between Coinbase and Circle through the co-founding of the CENTRE Consortium.
Stablecoins like USDC have a wide range of uses. You can:
- Send money cheaply and near-instantly anywhere in the world without a traditional bank account (a huge improvement over wire transfers which can be expensive and take days).
- Earn rewards on USDC held in a Coinbase account.
- Earn even higher yields by lending your USDC via a variety of decentralized finance (or DeFi) applications.
Think of USDC as being a programmable dollar. Being programmable unlocks a whole new world of applications and businesses: developers can create accounts to store money with one line of code; lending that is faster, cheaper, and more transparent; faster and cheaper payments, including payroll; global crowdfunding; transparent and stable donations to charity.