Circle at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Courtesy of Circle Internet Financial

Circle is pioneering a redemptive use for cryptocurrency: humanitarian aid. In December, it partnered with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to distribute Circle’s USD Coin via secure digital wallets to Ukrainian refugees, who can exchange it for local currencies. Pegged to the U.S. dollar, USDC is a “stablecoin” intended for reliable digital use. The $30 billion USDC in circulation is backed by real dollars Circle has in regulated U.S. financial institutions—in contrast to the more volatile crypto norm. The firm’s big goal? To make transfers via blockchain as hassle-free as email. “We like to say we’re boring, but boring turns out to be great business,” says CEO and co-founder Jeremy Allaire.

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