Circle, Venezuela, USDC

Payments startup Circle is getting political.

The stablecoin issuer is working with the U.S. government to bypass Nicolás Maduro and support the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela led by Juan Guaidó.

Circle is using USDC, the dollar-pegged stablecoin it issues with Coinbase, to distribute relief funds to medical workers and other Venezuelan locals, it announced Friday.

CEO Jeremy Allaire told CoinDesk this was his company’s first government partnership.

“The partnership, obviously, is with the exiled government,†Allaire said in an interview. “The history here is many countries, including the United States, recognize President-elect Juan Guaidó as the president of Venezuela. Maduro did not accept the results of an election and maintained power.â€

Maduro was declared an “usurper†by Venezuela’s national assembly, which named Guaidó the interim president in January 2019, according to BBC News.

“As that happened and sanctions were imposed, funds that belonged to the government were seized,†Allaire said.

The U.S. Treasury Department has been trying to send these funds directly to Venezuelan residents, but this task has been made difficult after Maduro tried blocking the distribution of these funds. Peer-to-peer payments startup Airtm has been working to solve this issue, with limited results so far.

Allaire declined to identify which part of the U.S. government is working with Circle and Airtm, but said Circle had been licensed to distribute funds using USDC.

According to the company’s blog post, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve deposit funds seized by the U.S. into a bank account in the U.S. tied to the Guaidó government, which converts the funds into USDC that Circle then sends to Airtm.

How it works

Airtm has a business account with Circle under the terms of the arrangement. Funds flow through Circle to Airtm, which can then distribute USDC to any of its mobile digital wallet users. Airtm currently has “half a million users in Venezuela,†Allaire said.

“This is, in a sense, a way to bypass the state-controlled banking system and just directly distribute to people,†Allaire said, adding:

By using USDC, these Venezuelans can spend in dollars, which are currently far more stable than Venezuela’s native bolivar, he said. The bolivar has seen 2,358.5% inflation in 2020 alone.

Read more: Here in Venezuela, Doctors Struggle to Access Aid From Crypto Platform

Like with Airtm’s previous efforts, all local residents need to receive the stablecoins is a mobile phone and some way of accessing the internet.

“In this case, because it’s a dictatorship, you also have a VPN and you have digital currency. You can go over the top of the internet and bypass those controls,†Allaire said.

A representative for the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela did not return a request for comment by press time.

RELATED NEWS

Cream Iron Bank Flash Loan Attack: Markets Re-Enabled While Asset Borrow Is Paused

Following the Cream Iron Bank flash loan attack, preliminary findings of a probe have shown that contracts and markets still function normally. As a result, markets have now been re-enabled while the asset borrowing function has been paused. The Cream team also reveals that investigations are continuing. The Exploit After the exploit, the value of […]

Xem chi tiết: Cream Iron Bank Flash Loan Attack: Markets Re-Enabled While Asset Borrow Is Paused

Bitcoin Payments for Private Flights Soar, 20% of Privatefly’s Revenue Stems from Crypto

Cryptocurrency users are leveraging their new-found wealth to fly more often with private jets. This week the directional aviation company Privatefly revealed that close to 20% of the firm’s sales were paid in cryptocurrencies last month, and 13% out of that aggregate used bitcoin. On-Demand Private Flights and Crypto According to data from the company […]

Xem chi tiết: Bitcoin Payments for Private Flights Soar, 20% of Privatefly’s Revenue Stems from Crypto

Mexico’s Third-Wealthiest Individual Adds Bitcoin to His Twitter Bio

Just recently the Mexican billionaire, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, joined Elon Musk and a number of high-profile people, by adding the bitcoin hashtag to his Twitter bio. Salinas is one of Mexico’s wealthiest individuals with a fortune of around $13.2 billion and 10% of the entrepreneur’s liquid portfolio is in bitcoin. Grupo Salinas Chairman Joins the […]

Xem chi tiết: Mexico’s Third-Wealthiest Individual Adds Bitcoin to His Twitter Bio

Looming Legal Issues and Transparency Questions Fail to Dent Tether’s Momentum

Tether has never been more popular. A quick look at Coinmarketcap data underscores this point, with 24-hour trading volume in USDT (US dollar-denominated Tether) exceeding both Bitcoin and Ethereum combined. Users of the Legacy Stablecoin Show No Sign of Relenting A slow-rolling lawsuit brought by the New York attorney-general against Tether parent-company iFinex for fraud […]

Xem chi tiết: Looming Legal Issues and Transparency Questions Fail to Dent Tether’s Momentum

Sky High Bitcoin and Ethereum Fees: While Prices Jump the Cost to Transfer Follows Suit

While a number of digital currencies have seen price gains the two leading crypto assets, bitcoin and ethereum have seen transaction fees skyrocket. For instance, data shows that the median fee for a bitcoin transaction is $8.58, while the median fee is $9.35 when spending ether. Meanwhile, the average transaction fee for both networks has […]

Xem chi tiết: Sky High Bitcoin and Ethereum Fees: While Prices Jump the Cost to Transfer Follows Suit

Sky High Bitcoin and Ethereum Fees: While Prices Jump the Cost to Transfer Follows Suit

While a number of digital currencies have seen price gains the two leading crypto assets, bitcoin and ethereum have seen transaction fees skyrocket. For instance, data shows that the median fee for a bitcoin transaction is $8.58, while the median fee is $9.35 when spending ether. Meanwhile, the average transaction fee for both networks has […]

Xem chi tiết: Sky High Bitcoin and Ethereum Fees: While Prices Jump the Cost to Transfer Follows Suit

Circle Launches USD Coin on the Stellar Network

Circle and the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) announced that the second-biggest stablecoin is now available within their network. USD Coin (USDC) is accessible through five integrated wallets, and it can be tradeable on their ecosystem, said the USDC issuer. Stellar Has Been the Official Chain of USDC Since October 2020 Per the announcement, the stablecoin […]

Xem chi tiết: Circle Launches USD Coin on the Stellar Network

Report: Declining BTC Stablecoin Supply Ratio Suggests Exchanges Are ‘Highly Liquid & Ready to Buy’ Crypto Assets

According to a report by Glassnode, bitcoin’s declining stablecoin supply ratio (SSR) indicates an increased supply of newly minted coins on exchanges. In turn, this increase in supply means exchanges are currently “highly liquid and ready to buy up assets such as bitcoin.†Stablecoin Supply Growth As explained in the report, the SSR is a […]

Xem chi tiết: Report: Declining BTC Stablecoin Supply Ratio Suggests Exchanges Are ‘Highly Liquid & Ready to Buy’ Crypto Assets

Report: Declining BTC Stablecoin Supply Ratio Suggests Exchanges Are ‘Highly Liquid & Ready to Buy’ Crypto Assets

Venezuelan President Maduro Promises 2021 Will Be the Year to Boost Usage of Petro

9 Trillion vs. 100 Trillion: Billionaire Mike Novogratz Asks Which Cryptocurrency Will Win the Payments Race

Venezuela’s Asonacrip: Bitcoin Bull Run Could Help Boost Usability of Cryptos Such as Petro

Millions of Venezuelans Voted via Blockchain in an Unofficial Anti-Maduro Referendum

Market Wrap: Bitcoin Solidly Trades Above $20K; Ether Jumps on Positive BTC, CME’s New ETH Product

P2P Bitcoin Trading: Venezuela, Colombia Account for Over 23% of Total Localbitcoins Volume

Venezuelan Crypto-Friendly Freelancing Platform Emerges Amid Economic Crisis, US Sanctions

Other Articles