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Coinbase is listing a stablecoin, baby! And not just any old stablecoin. This is the USD Coin, a stablecoin developed by Circle, whose popular app allows peer-to-peer dollar transactions. The burgeoning partnership between the two companies, dubbed the “Centre Consortium,” aims to develop an “open global financial system built on crypto rails and blockchain infrastructure.”
Tentatively, this is good news. Dollar-backed stablecoins—Coinbase has provided assurances that the USD Coin is “fully collateralized”—are highly sought after; a good stablecoin acts as a decentralized stand-in for the dollar and doesn’t (or shouldn’t) jump in price. And since the collapse of stablecoin Tether, a vacancy for one that actually, you know, works, has opened.
And unlike, say, the Tether-allied Bitfinex, Coinbase is emerging as a reputable, trustworthy institutional player. On October 23, the company secured approval from the New York State department of Financial Services to offer custody services—which includes on-chain protection and off-chain “cold storage”—for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Ripple, and Litecoin, according to CoinTelegraph.
Overnight, Coinbase has stepped, intrepidly, into two major crypto markets: stablecoins and custody services. It's a good day for actual crypto companies with working products.
In India, however, the mood is sourer. Authorities in Bengaluru forcibly shut down the country’s first cryptocurrency ATM, set up by manufacturer Unocoin, on the grounds that only government approved banks can offer ATM services. The ATM’s lifespan? A week.
It just goes to show that entrusting the “freedom of money” to a literal box that governments/anyone with a crowbar can just simply seize is somewhat counterintuitive. At least bury them underground, or put a forcefield around them, or something. Or, perhaps, affiliate them with Johnny Depp.
That, at least, seems to be the strategy of TaTaTu, the self-styled YouTube competitor that wants to tokenize sinking slowly into your moth-eaten sofa as you binge re-watch Grown Ups 2 and lose the will to live. For this vertiginous promise, the company raised $575 million in a token sale, the third largest crypto fundraiser of all time.
Now Depp himself is on board. Besides spewing some platitudes about TaTaTu’s “liberating” and “progressive” values, however, he failed to make it clear what he would actually do. Probably just throw money around and take part in retrospectively horrifying promos, we imagine.
Regardless, good luck to Mr. Depp. If he can’t save his career by putting it on a blockchain, what can?
Read next: The bark of the big dogs.