BlackRock Will Manage USDC's $50B Reserves Following $400M Raise

Circle announced a $400M funding round and that BlackRock will manage USDC's cash reserves.

BlackRock Will Manage USDC's $50B Reserves Following $400M Raise
Photo by Lou Batier / Unsplash

Circle, the company behind the USDC stablecoin, announced a $400M funding round on April 12, 2022. The round was led by BlackRock, Fidelity, Marshall Wace, and Fin Capital. As part of the deal, BlackRock will become the primary asset manager of USDC's cash reserves. Currently, there is over $50B of USDC in circulation, so it's assumed that BlackRock is managing roughly $50B of Circle's reserves.

BlackRock is the world's largest asset manager, with over $10T under management in January 2022. BlackRock has historically been anti-crypto, but like many institutions, BlackRock has found a way to profit from crypto, so now it's pro-crypto.

Circle is valued at $9B and intends to go public. The company projects it will earn $400M in revenue from its stablecoin reserves this year and that it will earn $2.2B in revenue next year.

Somehow, this is bad for Maker DAO. Maker DAO's US Dollar-pegged stablecoin, DAI, is partially backed by USDC. Maker DAO has been trying to wean DAI investors off USDC by decreasing yields for staked USDC, but as of late 2021, USDC still made up over one-third of DAI's reserves.

DAI investors have long complained that DAI's reserves are too centralized, and now the world's largest institutional money manager is in charge of USDC's reserves.

It's hard to see how Maker DAO can fix this, seeing as how Tether is also centralized and considered much riskier to hold, due to all the Chinese commercial paper in its reserves. Maker DAO won't want more Tether in its DAI reserves, and it's unlikely to load up on Terra's UST, considering Do Kwon is trying to depeg DAI from the dollar.