Increasing access to USDC internationally: commission-free trading via non-USD currencies

TLDR: Supporting the growth and international adoption of USDC.

By Coinbase

Product

, October 20, 2022

Coinbase

As part of our mission to increase economic freedom in the world, we want to build more on-ramps for users to access USDC - our vision for the most trusted and reputable digital dollar. 

Our research shows that adoption of USDC has been more conservative outside of the US. Currently, 3x more USDC is bought with USD versus non-USD currencies. In part this is because, outside of the US, users usually have to pay fees in the process of converting their local currency into USDC, and this is a barrier to broader international adoption. The way to correct this, and accelerate adoption of USDC internationally, is by establishing global parity for all users. To achieve this, from the date of this announcement, Coinbase will waive commission fees when customers buy or sell USDC via any fiat currency on Coinbase, from AUD to ZAR.

Back in 2018, Coinbase co-founded the Centre Consortium in order to develop USDC, a fiat-backed stablecoin. Since then, our belief that stablecoins will play a central role in driving global innovation in DeFi has only gotten stronger. Today, USDC powers many of the most exciting and innovative applications being developed within DeFi, and has been adopted as one of the most popular stablecoins within the blockchain ecosystem, with a market capitalization that has grown 150x in 3 years. 

CoinCodex 201022

When we look to the future, as blockchain technology continues to improve, the characteristics of stablecoins like USDC point towards how much untapped potential exists - particularly in countries where residents could benefit greatly from the utility USDC affords over traditional fiat currencies:

  • Stable by design - The value of USDC fluctuates far less - only as much as a fraction of a cent over the last 2 years - in comparison to other cryptocurrencies, because its value is pegged to the U.S. dollar, a fiat currency. The strength and stability of USDC’s peg to the U.S. dollar, backed by high-quality reserves and with transparent and regular attestations, makes it a safe-haven for users who want to remain active in the crypto market during a downturn, or period of high volatility. 

  • Accessibility - Stablecoins like USDC are a secure, cheaper, and much faster way for anyone to send value to another party. Transfers through the legacy banking system, which today can take multiple business days to settle, can be completed in under an hour with USDC, which runs upon blockchain technology instead and which saves users from the added intermediary costs associated with having to go through the traditional banking network.

  • Access to DeFi - We firmly believe that USDC and other stablecoins will play an increasingly significant role as the fiat on-ramp to the new web3 ecosystem. Improving the ease of fiat-to-crypto transactions will pave the way for even more users to access DeFi. By owning USDC, users can interact with innovative new dApps in areas like trading, insurance, saving, lending, and borrowing, where USDC is a trusted means of exchange.

Visit coinbase.com or review our stablecoin whitepaper for more information on USDC. To start using a more efficient form of dollars, log into your Coinbase.com, Coinbase Prime, or Coinbase Exchange account. If you are an institutional client, you can also review our USDC overview documentation for Coinbase Prime and Coinbase Exchange.

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 1. This feature may not be available to all regions. No commission fees attributed to Coinbase will be charged until further notice. However, spread, and processing fees charged by third party processors, will continue to apply.

2. https://coincodex.com/crypto/usd-coin/historical-data/

3.  Between January 2021 to the end of May 2022, the value of USDC ranged between $0.005 of its peg to $1.00 USD over 99.8% of the time.

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