As its USD Coin has boomed to become the world’s second-largest stablecoin, Circle is trying to maintain momentum.
The digital asset firm, which created the USDC stablecoin in collaboration with Coinbase, announced plans today for new high-yield accounts, along with APIs that will allow businesses to set them up for their own customers. According to Circle’s website, the USDC accounts start at 8.5% APY, and can go as high as 10.75% for a 12-month fixed term. Interest will accrue daily and be paid weekly.
Circle is planning to introduce short and medium term high yield interest rate business accounts built entirely on #USDC. Starting at 8% APY, make sure to secure a spot on the waitlist today. https://t.co/rAjbWRTDrB Restrictions will apply.
— Circle (@circlepay) November 5, 2020
The announcement comes on the heels of a big year for USDC, and for the wider world of stablecoins. USDC’s market cap is around $2.87 billion today, but was just $460 million a year ago, and is actually growing at a faster rate than Tether, its biggest competitor (though Tether has a market cap of nearly $17 billion). Both stablecoins have become popular options for traders looking to avoid market volatility as they store money.
USDC is pegged to the US dollar—each coin is collateralized by an actual US dollar, which Circle holds onto, so the price of a single USDC is always more or less equal to $1.00.
The stablecoin really took off in March, in the wake of COVID-19, suggesting that some investors are becoming more inclined toward stability in the crypto space. Circle’s introduction of new lending protocols this past summer, which offered rewards for customers who staked USDC, may also have had a role in growing the stablecoin’s market cap. Likewise, in October, Circle announced that USDC would be expanding from the Ethereum and Algorand blockchains to Solana and Stellar.
A post on Circle’s website says that yield generation for these new USDC accounts is being offered through Genesis Global Capital, and that the accounts themselves aren’t available just yet; businesses can sign up for early access through a waitlist.
Circle first began offering business accounts and accompanying APIs back in March.
“Our goal with Circle Business Accounts and Circle APIs is to simplify things so that a company can [set up] and begin using an account with the same ease that they might open a business bank account,” wrote Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire at the time. “Companies should be able to easily upload their dollars to the internet, convert them into digital currency dollars and start storing and using stablecoins for everyday payments.”
Now, the storing part is looking increasingly appealing.