Circle and Coinbase Open CENTRE Stablecoin Network to New Members

Circle and Coinbase are a launching a bold effort to make money as easy to move around the world as internet data and content.

AccessTimeIconJun 13, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 9:18 a.m. UTC
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Cryptocurrency firms Circle and Coinbase are a launching bold effort to make money as easy to move around the world as internet data and content.

In a press release sent to CoinDesk on Thursday, Circle said that, since the initial launch of the CENTRE consortium's US Dollar Coin (USDC) stablecoin, the two firms have been working to build and finalize what it's calling a "membership-based framework and governance scheme for the development and growth of money on the internet."

More formally called the CENTRE Network, the scheme is envisioned as a provider of new open standards to facilitate this dream.

According to Circle:

"Ultimately, we foresee a global economic transformation that is made possible by programmable money. People and businesses will be able to enter into diverse economic arrangements with anyone in the world easily and safely. The global digital currency age aims to make the movement of value accessible and free for everyone on the planet so that more people and businesses can participate in economic activity and value exchange."

CENTRE aims to enable crypto assets to function across multiple blockchains, both public and private.

While blockchains may proliferate and compete across many different use cases, they would "benefit from a common interoperable fiat stablecoin for major currencies that is anchored in a full reserve, transparent and compliant governance scheme," Circle said.

As such, CENTRE is building standards that will work with a diverse, open and heterogenous ecosystem of chains, aiming to enable developers and blockchain protocol projects to build CENTRE implementations on their blockchains.

Jeremy Allaire, Circle co-founder and CEO, told CoinDesk:

"Circle and Coinbase are advancing a vision to make the movement of value more accessible and transparent, empowering more people and businesses around the world to participate in economic activity and value exchange."

There are caveats, however. Members of the network will need to jointly contribute to the development of the CENTRE technical standards and open source software that support its protocols.

Member firms will also need to be licensed and regulated in the area of electronic money services in their operating jurisdictions. Circle cites banks, trust banks and money transmitters as examples.

Additionally, members must comply with regulatory requirements where they operate and must further meet the technical and operational requirements of the group's protocols.

No other partners beyond Coinbase and Circle are currently attached to the project, said a Circle spokesperson.

For those passing the high bar that's been set, CENTRE's issuing members will have the option to generate returns on reserve assets allocated to them, as well as create revenue by developing financial products and services based on CENTRE stablecoins.

Thus far, the firm said, more than $795 million in CENTRE's first stablecoin USDC has been issued, while over $11.9 billion has been traded on over 40 supporting exchanges such as Coinbase, Poloniex, Binance and Bitfinex.

CENTRE plans to grow its stablecoin support beyond the U.S. dollar, introducing new options across "leading global reserve currencies." It will also add new issuers and reserve custodians for these currencies.

The group ultimately imagines a "new global digital currency" that is backed by a basket of future reserve currency stablecoins – one that might also include bitcoin, the firm said.

It concluded:

"The combination of these global digital currency tokens and open, permissionless public blockchains with smart contract infrastructure will form the foundation for a 21st century digitally-native global economy that empowers people everywhere to participate and grow value."

Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire image via CoinDesk archives


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