Increased USDC Rewards
Coinbase, a major U.S. crypto asset (virtual currency) exchange that operates worldwide, doubled the reward rate of the loyalty program for holders of the stablecoin “USDCoin (USDC)” linked to the US dollar on the 15th. announced.
USDC is a stablecoin designed so that one USDC holds a value equal to one US dollar. It will be issued by Center, a joint venture between Coinbase and Circle. They are backed by cash and other reserve assets and held in accounts managed by US regulated financial institutions.
Users of the global version of Coinbase will automatically receive an annual return of 4% based on the amount of USDC held in their accounts. 70 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Argentina, Belgium, and India, are listed as eligible countries for the rewards program, but Japan is not included. (The Japanese version of Coinbase has already been closed)
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USDC Rewards is Coinbase’s self-funded loyalty program. “We do not lend or use client assets for trading unless specifically instructed to do so,” Coinbase said. However, the reward rate offered is subject to change and customers can check the latest applicable rate in their account. Also, Coinbase does not mention this 4% reward rate on the official USDC introduction page.
Staking and distinction
Coinbase emphasizes that the USDC rewards program is different from “staking.” Staking is a system that obtains rewards by locking up virtual currency that adopts the Proof of Stake (PoS) method for a certain period of time.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Coinbase in early June, alleging that it offered unregistered securities. As part of this lawsuit, the SEC deemed Coinbase’s staking service to be an offering of unregistered securities.
Coinbase claims that “USDC cannot be staked, but customers in certain regions can earn rewards using USDC.”
The SEC’s latest lawsuit does not address the USDC rewards program. However, the SEC has a history of blocking Coinbase from launching a similar lending program in 2021. At the time, Coinbase tried to offer 4% APY (Annualized Yield) to USDC deposits through its “Loan Rate Product (CoinbaseLend program),” but the plan was canceled after the SEC indicated its intention to sue the program. became.
According to the corporate lawyer, Coinbase did not consider it as a “Lend” investment product, and applied to the SEC after saying that the USDC entrusted by customers can be returned immediately upon request. However, it is said that the SEC responded that it “considered that Lend falls under the category of securities.”
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