Today, Bermuda became the first government to accept payments for taxes, fees and other government services using USD Coin (USDC).
Announced as part of a broader initiative from the Bermuda government aimed at supporting the use of USD-dollar backed stablecoins and decentralized finance protocols and services, this is a major milestone in crypto and for the Circle and Coinbase-backed CENTRE Consortium, the creator of USDC.
Recent months have brought more and more attention to stablecoins and national fiat digital currency initiatives. While future projects such as Libra seek to introduce entirely new global currencies, and major national governments such as China seek to introduce their own Central Bank Digital Currencies, the broader crypto ecosystem continues to push ahead by building on existing, working public blockchains, and supporting major existing global currencies such as the US dollar.
Governments everywhere will need to respond to this fundamental innovation, and this initiative from Bermuda builds on their broader leadership around crypto and digital asset policy and regulatory issues.
Earlier this year, Circle became the first company in the world to receive a Class F license under their highly progressive Digital Assets Business Act, enabling Circle to build products and operations in Bermuda that support a broad range of financial services built entirely on crypto and digital assets. Part of that license was permission to operate a payment system built on USDC.
For USDC, it helps cap a tremendous first year — with USDC becoming the fastest-growing stablecoin in the world.
In one year, USDC has established itself as the second most popular stablecoin in the world, earned support from more than 100 companies across the global crypto ecosystem, and reached $1 billion in issuance.
Together with Coinbase, we created the CENTRE Consortium and USDC to help eliminate artificial economic borders and enable a more efficient and inclusive global financial system that connects every business and every person on the planet.
By building on widely adopted public blockchains such as Ethereum, USDC is now usable in an incredibly diverse range of decentralized finance products and services, including products for savings, lending, borrowing, securities offerings and trade finance. People and businesses in Bermuda will be able to take advantage of these diverse products, including now also being able to pay for taxes and government services.
All of this underscores the incredible power of building on the open internet and open standard infrastructure — without writing a single line of code, or investing in expensive proprietary and country-specific infrastructure, Bermuda and its people can take a giant leap forward while simultaneously supporting the development of this new industry.
Hats off to Premier David Burt, who continues to show more leadership on these issues and very much remains out ahead of other governments in the world.
About the CENTRE Consortium
The CENTRE Consortium is a joint venture co-founded by Circle and Coinbase aimed at establishing a standard for fiat on the internet and providing a governance framework and network for the global, mainstream adoption of fiat stablecoins. CENTRE is open for broader membership and is growing its support for fiat stablecoins beyond the US dollar.
About USD Coin (USDC)
Launched in September 2018, USDC is a fully collateralized US dollar stablecoin, meaning it’s backed 1:1 with US dollars.