USDC stands for USD Coin, which is a type of cryptocurrency known as a stablecoin. It is a digital currency that is designed to maintain a stable value by being pegged to a specific fiat currency—in this case, the U.S. dollar.
USDC was launched in 2018 as a joint effort between Circle, a fintech company, and Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange. It operates on the Ethereum blockchain as an ERC-20 token, but it has also expanded to other blockchain networks, such as Algorand and Solana.
The primary purpose of USDC is to provide a digital asset that can be easily transferred and used on blockchain networks while maintaining a stable value equivalent to one U.S. dollar. The stability is achieved by ensuring that each USDC token is backed by an equivalent amount of U.S. dollars held in reserve by regulated financial institutions. This backing is regularly audited to ensure transparency and accountability.