In case you missed it, Poloniex, one of the major altcoin exchanges, was acquired by Circle in February. Previously, Circle was focused primarily on the major coins versus fiat pairings, but since its acquisition of Poloniex it has had the opportunity to dive into more tokens, and in September it launched its own stablecoin to compete with tether (USDT) and the Gemini Dollar (GUSD), which was launched around the same time. The purpose of “stablecoins” is to help traders denominate their cryptos without creating a crypto-to-fiat event as well as to have coins that are pegged with some degree of certainty to the US dollar.
USD Coin has already been listed for use at Coinbase, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges in the world (owing to the fact that Coinbase is also a founding member of the token’s development consortium), and of course, they immediately put it to work on their new property, Poloniex. Now people wanting to get hold of and trade USD Coin on Poloniex have more incentive to do so, as Circle has decided to stimulate usage by eliminating trading fees for the coin on the Poloniex platform, at least through the end of November.
For the present, this means that Poloniex users have two stablecoin options. It is unclear whether Poloniex will list USDT indefinitely, but it has been on the exchange almost since its inception as Poloniex transformed from a major altcoin exchange to a major everything exchange.
At the time of writing, a minor arbitrage opportunity existed between USDC, wherein one could purchase a USDC for $1.00 and buy around $1.01 worth of USDT. Tether is supposed to be exchangeable directly for $1.00 via Bitfinex, so the divergent trading, done in mass quantities, is an opportunity for savvy traders with deep pockets to profit.
According to Circle, over $130 million in USDC are now in circulation, and this number should expand as usage of the token increases. Trading volume, though, has yet to match its market cap, as daily turnover is just $3.4 million.
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