Circle’s Detailed Reserve Report Shows Only Cash, Short-Term Treasurys Back USDC Stablecoin

The asset breakdown comes at a time when crypto firms and their finances are under increasing scrutiny in the ongoing crypto credit crisis.

AccessTimeIconJul 14, 2022 at 6:27 p.m. UTC
Updated Jul 14, 2022 at 10:41 p.m. UTC

Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.

Circle Internet Financial released a detailed – though unaudited – breakdown of its reserve assets for the firm’s USD coin (USDC) that showed $42.1 billion in short-term U.S. government bonds and $13.6 billion in cash.

The asset breakdown, published in a blog post by the company Thursday, shows that as of June 30 Circle held $42.1 billion of U.S. Treasury bonds with an average maturity of 44 days, with the latest expiry date being Sept. 29. A bond is considered to be short-term when its maturity is less than three months. The document also listed the bonds’ individual identifier, the so-called CUSIP number.

Circle also held $13.6 billion in cash at U.S.-regulated financial institutions, namely at the Bank of New York Mellon, Citizens Trust Bank, Customers Bank, New York Community Bank, Signature Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, Silvergate Bank and US Bancorp, according to the document.

The $55.7 billion in assets Circle claims is slightly higher than the 55.4 billion USDC tokens in circulation. USDC is supposed to hold a 1:1 peg to the U.S. dollar.

“While U.S. policymakers work to enact federal regulations for stablecoins, Circle continues to increase our transparency based on new industry innovations and what USDC holders within our ecosystem would like to see,” Chief Financial Officer Jeremy Fox-Geen said in the post.

The report was not audited, per the document, but it offered a more detailed glimpse into the reserve assets backing the stablecoin, the second largest by market cap and with a circulating supply of $55 billion.

The report comes amid an ongoing credit crisis in the crypto markets, kick-started by the multibillion-dollar implosion of the Terra blockchain in May as the then-third-largest stablecoin depegged from the U.S. dollar.

Crypto firms’ finances are under increasing scrutiny, with various crypto lenders and investment firms facing liquidity problems and applying for bankruptcy protection.

While stablecoins are supposed to maintain a stable price anchored to an asset such as the dollar, several stablecoins lost their price peg in the Terra implosion aftermath, including Tron’s USDD and neutrino USD (USDN). The price peg of Tether’s USDT, the largest stablecoin with a $66 billion market capitalization, also wobbled for a brief period.

Since May, USDC has gained in market share at the expense of USDT. Data by crypto market data tracker CoinGecko shows that while USDT had $17 billion in redemptions, USDC grew by $7 billion as holders flocked to the perceived safer asset.

CORRECTION (22:40 UTC): This article has been corrected with the accurate spelling of Jeremy Fox-Geen's last name.

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Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.

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