Coinbase Global Inc., the biggest US crypto exchange, has taken a stake in stablecoin issuer Circle citing “growing regulatory clarity for stablecoins in the US” and elsewhere.
(Bloomberg) — Coinbase Global Inc., the biggest US crypto exchange, has taken a stake in stablecoin issuer Circle citing “growing regulatory clarity for stablecoins in the US” and elsewhere.
The companies were co-founders of the Centre Consortium that governs the USD Coin stablecoin. Centre will be dissolved. Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed.
Coinbase and Circle’s revenue from the USD Coin stablecoin “will continue to be shared based on the amount of USDC held on each of our platforms, and additionally we will now equally share in interest income generated from the broader distribution and usage of USDC,” Boston-based Circle said in a blog post Monday.
Stablecoins — crypto tokens that are pegged to an asset like the dollar — are mostly used by traders to move digital assets between exchanges and have so far made limited inroads into consumer payments. Last month, a key US House of Representatives panel advanced a bill to regulate stablecoins. The proposal remains in the House.
The push for more regulatory clarify follows a drop in investor confidence in the sector in the aftermath of a market collapse spurred in part by several crypto industry scandals. In March, Circle revealed that it had $3.3 billion exposure to the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank, triggering a brief depeg of USD Coin.
At the same time, competition among stablecoins is increasing even as the overall market value of the sector shrinks. The amount of USD Coin in circulation has plunged to about $26 billion from $45 billion at the beginning of the year. Tether, the biggest stablecoin, has grown during the same period.
Coinbase has long shared in revenue from USDC, which is backed by a reserve of assets that are supposed to be liquid, such as cash and Treasuries. With borrowing rates near 15-year highs, USDC interest income has become a significant contributor to Coinbase’s financial performance.
Coinbase had $151 million in revenue from USDC in the second quarter, according to its shareholder letter. A Coinbase spokesperson said Monday that the firm didn’t anticipate any impact on its previously provided financial outlook.
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