Circle's Dollar-Tied Stablecoin Fully Backed, Auditor's 'Attestation' Says

Circle Internet Financial had $127.5 million at the end of last month, enough to back the total number of USDC stablecoins in circulation.

AccessTimeIconNov 21, 2018 at 4:02 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:37 a.m. UTC

Circle Internet Financial had just under $127.5 million backing the dollar-pegged USD Coin at the end of last month, enough to redeem every token at the time, according to a major auditing firm.

Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. branch of Grant Thornton International, reported in an attestation dated Nov. 16 that Circle had $127,412,240.89 held in custody accounts as of Oct. 31, 2018, slightly exceeding the 127,408,827 USDC tokens in circulation at the time.

As of press time, there were 162,968,332 USDC tokens in circulation, according to CoinMarketCap, with a total supply of 163,204,910.03 according to the token tracker attached to the USDC smart contract.

While not a full audit, the report confirmed information provided by Circle chief financial officer Naeem Ishaq about the funds backing up the stablecoin now jointly issued by Circle and Coinbase through the CENTRE Consortium.

In its report, Grant Thornton noted that its examination "was conducted in accordance with attestation standards established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants," meaning that "the nature, timing, and extent of the procedures selected depend on our judgment, including an assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the Reserve Account Information, whether due to fraud or error."

The report went on to explain that:

"In making an assessment of the risks of material misstatement, we considered and obtained an understanding of internal control relevant to the preparation of, and the Reserve Account Information in, the accompanying Reserve Account Report in order to design procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of such internal control."

Other stablecoin issuers such as Gemini and Paxos have similarly published attestations from auditing firms to support their holdings. While these were not full audits either they stand in contrast to the evidence of reserves provided by Tether, the largest issuer in the space at present.

The controversial company produced a letter from Deltec Bank and Trust Limited earlier this month proving that it had a "portfolio cash value" of $1.8 billion, though it is unclear whether it holds the funds in cash specifically or if other assets are also being considered.

Dollars image via Shutterstock


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