USDC is a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar initially minted on Ethereum. The coin is backed by a reserve of assets, including fiat and short-term US Treasuries. There is no public audit to verify the stablecoin's collateral, but accounting services companies provide monthly attestations.
Currently, USDC is the second-largest stablecoin by market capitalization and has held this position for much of its history. You can directly mint USDC using US dollars without incurring any fee. This is done in three stages:
1. US dollars are transferred to USDC's bank account.
2. USDC uses a smart contract that creates USDC in equal amounts to the funds received.
3. The newly-issued tokens are sent to the user, and the USD is held in a reserve account.
The project was created as a joint enterprise between Coinbase and Circle, leading to the creation of the Centre Consortium. USDC is now available on Algorand, Avalanche, Ethereum, TRON, Stellar, Solana, and Hedera.