Ripio, a leading crypto company in Latin America, and Circle, a global financial technology firm, will leverage Circle’s platform services to support USD Coin (USDC) liquidity and fund flows across its exchange and wallet products. Ripio also unveiled “Ripio Earn,” a USDC yield account that provides a six percent annual interest rate return, available today to Ripio’s more than 500,000 users in Argentina and Brazil.
Global demand for stablecoins has surged over the past six months with USDC growing by nearly 500% year-to-date from just over $400 million in circulation at the beginning of the year to a market cap of more than $2.8 billion today. One of the key drivers has been dollarization. As many currencies continue to strain under macro conditions and show increased volatility, businesses and institutions are pursuing strategies to access US dollars. USDC has emerged as one of the most efficient and effective vehicles in the flight to safety.
One of the regions experiencing the most significant growth in stablecoin demand is South America, where the urging for US Dollars as a store of value -amidst high inflation and devaluation rates, plus fierce capital controls in the case of Argentina- has ballooned over the last couple of years. At Ripio, stablecoin transactions during Q2 2020 increased over 800% compared to the previous quarter.
To service increasing demand for USDC across the region, Ripio is working with Circle in order to implement Circle’s transactional services, business accounts, and platform APIs to support the conversion of local currencies into and out of USDC, manage liquidity and custody funds, and automate associated treasury operations across Ripio’s exchange and wallet products.
Ripio’s newest wallet feature, Ripio Earn, works exclusively with USDC and is available today to customers throughout Argentina and Brazil. The minimum amount to access Ripio Earn is 50 USDC while the maximum placement amount will be 5,000 USDC. The initial interest rate for Ripio’s yield-generating product is 6% annually.
“From crypto traders and investors to freelance workers and small business owners, the rush to stable assets is growing rapidly, and Ripio continues to be at the forefront of this trend with product and services that make the acquisition and usage of ‘crypto dollars’ fast, efficient and low cost,” said Sebastian Serrano, Ripio co-founder & CEO. “The addition of Ripio Earn for our customers in Argentina and Brazil is an enormous leap forward for those who want to participate in the DeFi economy and generate additional income from our interest-bearing accounts. We are very happy to have a partner like Circle with a powerful and flexible stablecoin platform that keeps pace with our rapidly evolving product suite, and shares our vision for a more fair and inclusive financial system.”
“Ripio is a fintech pioneer that continues to be in the vanguard of not only the crypto industry, but also the broader consumer and B2B finance sectors in Latin America,” said Circle co-founder & CEO, Jeremy Allaire. “We are excited to see Ripio take advantage of our platform services to accelerate the adoption of digital dollars and introduce innovative new products like Ripio Earn. From investors to gig-economy workers, the broad availability of digital dollars championed by Ripio promises to increase access to new economic opportunities for many more people than previously possible.”