Circle releases Grant Thornton attestation report on USD Coin

"The issued and outstanding USDC tokens do not exceed the balance of the US dollars held in custody accounts"

Goldman Sachs-backed crypto finance venture, Circle, has published a third-party audit of its USD-pegged stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC).

This is an Ethereum-based token compliant with the ERC20 standard first announced in May last year and released a few months later. The audit of the coin’s fiat reserves was conducted by Grant Thornton.

Its report states that as of 30th April 2019 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time:

  • USD Coin (USDC) tokens issued and outstanding = 293,184,174 USDC
  • US dollars held in custody accounts = $293,351,374
  • The issued and outstanding USDC tokens do not exceed the balance of the US dollars held in custody accounts.

‘Very attractive’

Earlier this year, Circle predicted significant retailer take up of USDC.

In an AMA reddit thread, Jeremy Allaire, CEO and Co-founder, responded to the question: Do you have plans for retailers to accept USDC as a means of payment as this could massively help with crypto adoption?

“The vision behind Centre has always been that we need open protocols and standards for fiat money on the internet, and that such standards would enable people and businesses to exchange value directly and efficiently the same way that we can share content or communicate over open and inter-operable networks (SMTP, VOIP, SMS, HTTP, etc.),” he said. 

There were, however, various issues that needed to be tackled. “Centre’s initial release of the USDC smart contract and scheme relies on ERC-20 tokens, which right now means that there’s a bit of a burden on the end-user to have wallets where they pay gas fees and the like,” Allaire noted.

“We believe that we need Layer 2 approaches that can radically scale the throughput and lower the cost to closer to zero for USDC payments, combined with much much better consumer payment UX than what you see in crypto wallets today. We think both of those things are on the horizon in 2019, and we hope to help solve some of those problems.”

In terms of retailer acceptance, USDC will be very attractive, he added. As it’s an open standard, retailers will be able to use any standard digital wallet to accept payments from a growing number of wallets that support USDC. “We also expect to see merchant acquirers and payment processors add support for USDC and other fiat tokens that Centre supports. Already, BitPay provides this service,” Allaire concluded.

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