What’s hot in crypto this week?
USDC — or USD Coin — which is a “stablecoin” set to the U.S. dollar. It is issued by Coinbase and Circle, through a joint venture called the Centre Consortium, and has secured all required licensing to operate in the United States.
USDC just underwent a major upgrade that will essentially bring it closer to use in what resembles a traditional mobile payment app. The upgrade will allow services that offer the token to pay transaction fees for their users, or present and deduct the fees in USDC. This gets close to resembling a typical mobile payment app in which customers can send and receive USDC payments to peers solely using USDC.
What’s Flipside’s Take?
These advancements come at a time when USDC, the fastest-growing regulated stablecoin, has seen unprecedented adoption, surpassing $1.4 billion in market capitalization and more than $90 billion in on-chain transaction volume.
Our data shows that the majority of this activity is happening in decentralized finance. Looking at transactions on-chain, we can see a clear pattern in the flow of USDC: newly minted tokens go straight to Coinbase, and then to users who mostly send them to decentralized exchanges and decentralized finance platforms.
Compared to other major stablecoin, Tether (USDT), USDC is much more present on decentralized exchanges and applications, which means it is inherently stickier than Tether, which is used more for centralized exchange arbitrage.
USDC is especially attractive for businesses and financial institutions looking to integrate blockchain technology because Circle provides platform services and APIs that make it easier to integrate.
In addition, on in mid-August, Curve launched its governance token, CRV, which rewards users who provide liquidity to the Curve pools. Since users need stablecoins to earn interest on Curve, and considering USDC’s favorable positioning towards decentralized finance applications, it follows that users bought the token to participate in Curve.
Accordingly, USDC’s on-chain data reveals a spike in activity on Aug. 14, when Curve launched its governance token CRV. The launch in fact propelled Curve to third place in terms of total value locked, and the DEX currently has $1.24 billion locked according to DeFi Pulse.
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