Earning trust. Solving real-world problems. Creating social impact. These themes are animating Circle’s programming throughout the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Following a year in which fraud and failure shook the industry, Circle is starting 2023 with an agenda to accelerate crypto’s utility value.
We’re building on the original promise of blockchain – and advancing a whole new base layer of trust and money on the internet. This infrastructure layer is poised to do for the exchange of value what the modern internet did for the transfer of data: erase borders, remove friction, lower costs, and empower businesses and people with extraordinary access.
USDC is already transforming the world of payments, commerce, giving, and humanitarian aid, as outlined in Circle’s new report, State of the USDC Economy. As we celebrate Circle’s 10-year anniversary and five years since the launch of USDC, we’re focused firmly on our mission to raise global economic prosperity through the frictionless exchange of value.
“We're not trying to introduce a new currency to the world,” Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire told WEF delegates. “We're trying to take the power of this technology, and imbue the dollar with that power. And, as I like to say, give the dollar the superpowers of the internet.”
Realizing this mission represents much more than driving the next evolution of money, payments, and finance. It could become a lifeline to populations all over the world who struggle to access basic financial services and whose home currencies are not a reliable store of value. As financial historian Niall Ferguson put it in a conversation today at Circle’s lounge, “I can see Circle answering a substantial need around the world for a dollar-equivalent online means of transaction.” For Ukrainian refugees needing instant access to humanitarian aid, USDC is no novelty – it’s indispensable.
It’s not just about instant access but expanded access. “We don’t want monetary airline miles,” said Circle’s Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Policy Dante Disparte. “We don’t want walled gardens.” What we do want, he says, is a world where access to financial services is a basic human right. “A person's wealth or opportunity should not be determined by the zip code where they were born.”
As the modern Internet emerged a quarter century ago, business websites were a trivial extension of corporate identity and generated no meaningful revenue. Today, they are a vital expression of brand equity and a mission-critical component of commerce and customer relations. At Davos, Circle’s executives and our program partners are making the case that a fully reserved payment stablecoin like USDC could become integral to businesses around the world.
This pathway, however, is possible only on a foundation of trust. “The basis of all currency is trust,” said Elisabeth Carpenter, Circle’s COO.