In brief

  • Stablecoin USD Coin has hit a market cap of $2 billion.
  • Coinbase, which in part funded the creation of the stablecoin, announced that it wants to invest in more stablecoin-based startups to celebrate the milestone.
  • Companies that want to use stablecoins to speed up remittance payments or help bank the unbanked are particularly welcome.

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced today that it wants to fund more stablecoin-based startups. The firm made the announcement to celebrate USD Coin (USDC), hitting a $2 billion market cap.

USDC is a regulated stablecoin pegged to the US dollar that runs on Ethereum—and as of just recently, also on Algorand. It was launched in 2018 by Centre—a collaboration between Coinbase and payments firm Circle. 

Coinbase Ventures, the arm of the exchange that invests in new businesses, hopes to invest in stablecoin-based startups with its USDC Bootstrap Fund, an investment fund that supports developers building DeFi protocols using USDC. 

“Stablecoins are one of the most promising vehicles for creating greater financial access and inclusion,” Coinbase said in a Wednesday blog post. “In celebration of USDC’s tremendous growth, and the rapid rise of stablecoins as an important crypto innovation, we’re issuing a Request for Startups.”

“If you’re an entrepreneur working on a stablecoin-based idea, we want to hear from you,” the exchange added. 

Coinbase said that it was welcoming ideas that would help bank the unbanked, preserve wealth and speed up global remittances. It also said that startups aiming to help financial services for crypto companies and tools for developers working to accelerate the adoption of stablecoins would also be welcome. 

How much money Coinbase Ventures and the USDC Bootstrap Fund would be willing to invest was not made clear in the announcement. 

The use of stablecoins is growing around the world—particularly in the decentralized finance (DeFi) sphere. Such digital assets provide an alternative to otherwise volatile cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin. 

USDC is the second largest stablecoin by market cap. The biggest is Tether, which is also pegged to the US dollar.