Four months after Circle pivoted to stablecoins, the startup’s new business model has received an unexpected boost from the global coronavirus crisis, said co-founder and CEO Jeremy Allaire.
U.S. dollar-backed blockchain tokens are surging in popularity around the world, and this time much of the demand is for payments in normal business transactions, not just to move money quickly between cryptocurrency exchanges, Allaire claimed.
“Over the past several weeks, we have seen explosive interest and growth in USDC,” he said, referring to the stablecoin Circle issues in partnership with Coinbase. “There is clearly very significant global demand for digital dollars, and the use of digital dollars as a new payment medium.”
New signups have come from e-commerce marketplaces, advertising networks, luxury goods producers, recruiting platforms, digital content markets, peer-to-peer lending platforms, payment companies, software firms, professional services firms, rewards businesses, mobile banking providers and other internet companies, Allaire said.
“We are getting feedback from Asian market participants that there is more and more demand for USDC from SMEs seeking both the safety and utility of digital dollars,” he said, using a term for small and medium-sized enterprises.
The company saw the number of Circle Business Accounts – introduced last month for corporate clients to conduct business using USDC – grow 700 percent over the past few weeks, with more than two-thirds of these businesses coming from outside the crypto space.
According to CoinMetrics, USDC’s market capitalization, which equals the amount in circulation since it trades at par for dollars, has jumped 65 percent, from $444 million on March 1 to $734 million at press time.
Allaire’s explanation for the surge…