Recently, US Dollar Coin (USDC) crossed 40 billion in circulation. With several weeks to go in 2021 we have reached another significant milestone in the growth of USDC and the adoption of stablecoins across a broad set of use cases.
This year has seen a remarkable growth in USDC, from $4 to $40 billion in market cap amid a wider trend of crypto adoption. The world is embracing the power of open, permissionless networks and the way they can create connections, drive innovation and empower financial inclusion on a global scale. Centre, along with founding members Circle and Coinbase, is proud of the role that USDC has played as crypto has become increasingly mainstream in 2021.
Stablecoins, now vital to the industry, were initially used as a trading pair on centralized exchanges, but the soaring popularity of decentralized finance (DeFi) saw the opportunity to provide financial services on-chain through smart contracts and make them available to a wide group of participants. USDC has become the stablecoin used on a vast majority of DeFi protocols, providing lending, borrowing, and yield services driven by our robust standards and reputation for trust and transparency. And while these crypto-native use cases are exciting, we are now working on global payments networks and making faster, frictionless, less costly transfers available to everyone.
USDC was launched in 2019 on its flagship chain, Ethereum, but 2021 saw great progress in our goal of creating a multi-chain, multi-currency network of global stablecoins. This year USDC, already live on Algorand, Stellar and Solana, launched on Hedera and Tron, with several more integrations soon to be announced. Centre is also in late-stage discussions with global partners regarding the creation of non-dollar fiat-backed stablecoins, built to Centre standards, which will allow more individuals to transact on-chain in their sovereign currency.
Our network of trusted partners will be expanding soon with the launch of the Centre membership program. Opening up membership in the Centre consortium at multiple levels presents the opportunity to include perspectives and contributions from across the industry in working groups and future projects. And participation isn’t just limited to institutions, we will also be looking for wider community engagement; everyone’s voice is important.
As we move into this increasingly digital world, it’s clear that how we represent, and protect, ourselves online will also require a new solution. Centre is proud to be leading an initiative into Decentralized Identity, under the guidance of leading experts in the field to address an issue that touches every area of the crypto ecosystem. We are excited to share the results of this project soon and continuing to work with partners to improve this vital infrastructure layer.
Despite all that we have accomplished this year, there remains so much to be done, both within our organization and the greater crypto community, and Centre is committed to advancing the cause of a more accessible, more resilient ecosystem for all. We look forward to contributing to the ongoing dialogue with regulators and community members to build a framework for appropriate crypto regulation that provides investor protection while encouraging innovation. While this has been a remarkable year in many ways, we cannot help but look forward to what the future holds, for Centre and for all of crypto.