Circle, the issuer of the U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoin, USDC (USDC), is increasing its presence in the Philippines with a new local partnership.
On Oct. 10, Circle announced a strategic partnership with Coins.ph, a major cryptocurrency exchange and digital wallet provider in the Philippines.
As part of the partnership, Coins.ph and Circle will work jointly to drive awareness of USDC payments and help Filipino people pay less for cross-border money transfers and make faster transactions, the companies said.
The average cost of sending a $200 payment to Asia was 5.7% in 2022, they added, citing World Bank data. In the Philippines, the situation with remittances is even more complicated for the unbanked, which accounted for 44% of the adult population in 2021, according to the Philippines Central Bank.
“With a staggering $36.1 billion in remittance flows in 2022 alone remittances continue to be a vital contributor to the Philippines’ economy,” but traditional remittance channels often involve high fees and lengthy transaction times, Circle and Coins.ph said in the joint announcement.
The latest partnership between the firms aims to improve the existing remittance landscape, starting in the Philippines, one of the world’s largest recipients of remittances globally. The project includes educational campaigns and community engagement initiatives to help Filipinos abroad learn to use USDC for remittances.
“Coins.ph’s partnership with Circle aims to show how USDC can provide a faster, lower-cost and more accessible remittance option for our 18 million Filipino users and their families and loved ones abroad,” Coins.ph CEO Wei Zhou said. He added:
“Coupled with our recent innovations in Web3 technology, this initiative demonstrates Coins.ph’s commitment to providing users’ access to innovative services that have a tangible impact on their everyday lives.”
Founded in 2014, Coins.ph is a major cryptocurrency exchange in the Philippines, also allowing users to pay their bills and remit money using its digital wallet.
At the time of the announcement, USDC is not the only stablecoin listed on the Coins.ph exchange. According to data from CoinGecko, daily USDC trading volumes on Coins.ph amount to $44,500 and make up just around 13% of all daily trading in Tether (USDT), a major rival stablecoin. The exchange trades roughly $1 million per day at the time of writing, according to CoinGecko.