The stablecoin USD Coin (USDC), jointly launched by cryptocurrency firms Coinbase and Circle, has originated more than $50 million in loans across platforms, according to Loan Scan—a website that tracks loans made using cryptocurrencies.
USDC accounts for 9 percent out of the $520 billion overall loans borrowed in cryptocurrencies at three decentralized finance (DeFi) platforms—Compound, dharma, and dYdX. With shares of 77 percent and 12 percent, respectively, of the market for crypto loans, MakerDAO’s DAI and Ethereum’s Ether are the most borrowed cryptocurrencies on those platforms.
USDC is unique in that list because it is a stablecoin backed by fiat currency. As the ecosystem for stablecoins expands across the globe, USDC’s performance could set a template for operations of coins at other exchanges.
According to a post on Circle’s website, approximately one in 10 loans that originated this year has been denominated in USDC. While it is still early days for decentralized finance (DeFi), a couple of interesting use cases have emerged for the stablecoin.
The first one is to navigate purchase and sale transactions between crypto exchanges. USDC is supported at seven major cryptocurrency exchanges across the world, including Malta-based Binance and San Francisco’s Coinbase. The coin can also be used for staking purposes and as collateral to purchase other cryptoassets like Ether.
The equivalence of a USDC with one USD means that USDC is also useful as collateral for loans or purchases of goods priced in fiat currencies. On an overall basis, $146 million in USDC has been supplied as collateral across those platforms.
Joao Reginatto, product lead for USDC, said in a statement that he believes this amount will grow organically in the coming years: “It will also grow because Coinbase recently launched the USDC Bootstrap Fund to support developers building DeFi protocols by investing USDC directly in the protocol.”