BNY Mellon to Custody Assets Backing Circle's USDC Stablecoin

The relationship likely carries publicity upside for both financial brands.

AccessTimeIconMar 31, 2022 at 1:01 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 7:13 p.m. UTC

BNY Mellon, one of the oldest U.S. banks and one of the first to lean into custodying digital assets, will serve as the “primary custodian” for the reserve assets behind the USDC stablecoin, its issuer Circle Internet Financial said Thursday.

The popular go-between for crypto traders keeps its dollar peg with a mix of cash, cash equivalents and U.S. Treasuries. There are just under 52 billion USDC in circulation as of press time, according to Circle’s website. USDC is the crypto market’s second-largest stablecoin by issuance size, behind only Tether’s USDT.

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  • That Circle is trumpeting legacy banking partner BNY Mellon speaks to the issuer’s vested interest in building trust in its stablecoin brand. Competing stablecoin issuers have come under fire in the past for their less than transparent business practices.

    But the tie-up (and the mere fact of its publicity) is no less notable for BNY Mellon, one of the financial world’s largest custodians. Lending its credibility to USDC could serve to bolster the BNY brand among crypto clients.

    “Our role as a custodian for USDC reserves supports the broader marketplace and brings value to clients,” BNY Mellon CEO of Asset Servicing and Head of Digital Roman Regelman said in a press statement.

    A spokesperson for the bank confirmed BNY Mellon is currently custodying the reserve assets. The pair are exploring future opportunities in custody that could include the crypto itself.

    BNY Mellon’s crypto custody tech is powered by Fireblocks, the $8 billion firm that BNY Mellon invested in last March.

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    Danny Nelson

    Danny is CoinDesk's Managing Editor for Data & Tokens. He owns BTC, ETH and SOL.