Home Community Insights Coinbase now lets you send USDC for free using iMessage, WhatsApp and Telegram

Coinbase now lets you send USDC for free using iMessage, WhatsApp and Telegram

Coinbase now lets you send USDC for free using iMessage, WhatsApp and Telegram

Coinbase, the leading cryptocurrency exchange platform, has announced a new feature for its decentralized wallet app that allows users to send USDC, a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, for free using popular messaging apps like iMessage, WhatsApp, Telegram and more. This feature is powered by WalletConnect, an open protocol that enables secure communication between decentralized applications and mobile wallets.

USDC is a digital currency that maintains a 1:1 value with the US dollar and can be used for payments, remittances, savings and trading. Unlike traditional fiat currencies, USDC transactions are fast, cheap and transparent, thanks to the blockchain technology. By integrating WalletConnect into its wallet app, Coinbase enables users to easily send USDC to anyone in the world without paying any fees or intermediaries.

USDC is issued by a consortium of regulated financial institutions, called Centre, that ensure that every USDC in circulation is backed by an equivalent number of US dollars held in reserve. Users can create or redeem USDC through various platforms, such as Coinbase, Circle, or other exchanges and wallets that support USDC.

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USDC is built on the Ethereum blockchain, which means that it inherits the benefits of a decentralized, transparent, and programmable network. Users can send and receive USDC using any Ethereum-compatible wallet or application, and they can also use smart contracts to automate transactions and create new use cases for USDC.

USDC is also compliant with relevant laws and regulations, such as anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) rules. Users who want to create or redeem USDC have to undergo identity verification and comply with the terms of service of the platform they use. This ensures that USDC is a trustworthy and legitimate digital currency that can be used for various purposes.

USDC is one of the most popular and widely used stablecoins in the world, with over $40 billion in circulation as of December 2023. It offers users and businesses a fast, cheap, secure, and transparent way to move value across the globe.

To use this feature, users need to have the Coinbase Wallet app installed on their mobile devices and some USDC in their accounts. Then, they can scan a QR code from any WalletConnect-enabled website or app that supports USDC transfers, such as Uniswap, Aave, Compound and more. After scanning the QR code, users can choose which messaging app they want to use to send USDC and enter the recipient’s phone number or username. The recipient will receive a link to claim the USDC in their own Coinbase Wallet app or create one if they don’t have it yet.

This feature is part of Coinbase’s vision to make cryptocurrency more accessible and usable for everyone. By leveraging the existing messaging platforms that billions of people use every day, Coinbase hopes to lower the barriers to entry and adoption of crypto and create a more open and inclusive financial system.

Twitch to Cease Operations in South Korea Citing Prohibitively Expensive Market Conditions

Meanwhile, in a surprising move, Twitch, the globally popular video streaming service, announced its decision to shut down operations in South Korea on February 27, citing prohibitively expensive operating costs in one of the world’s largest esports markets.

The decision was communicated by Twitch CEO, Dan Clancy, who expressed disappointment over the move in a blog post.

“Ultimately, the cost to operate Twitch in Korea is prohibitively expensive and we have spent significant effort working to reduce these costs so that we could find a way for the Twitch business to remain in Korea,” he said.

Twitch CEO Dan Clancy acknowledged the significant efforts made by the company to reduce network costs in Korea. However, despite experimenting with a peer-to-peer model and downgrading streaming quality to 720p, the fees to operate in South Korea remained 10 times higher than in most other countries. Clancy stated that the company had been operating at a “significant loss” and that there was “no pathway forward” to run the business sustainably in the country.

In his blog post, Clancy said that the decision to cease operations in South Korea was a unique situation. He stated, “I want to reiterate that this was a very difficult decision and one we are very disappointed we had to make. Korea has always and will continue to play a special role in the international esports community, and we are incredibly grateful for the communities they built on Twitch.”

The high internet fees in South Korea have been a point of contention for tech companies. Last year, streaming giant Netflix unsuccessfully sued a local broadband supplier to avoid paying usage charges. Seoul’s court ruled in favor of the broadband supplier, requiring Netflix to contribute to the network costs supporting its substantial Korean business.

Twitch’s attempt to navigate the challenging landscape involved not only experimenting with different models but also striving to adapt to local regulations. South Korea, with over half of its 50 million population identified as esports fans, is a crucial market for Twitch. The country dominates competitive gaming globally, with pro gaming being a cultural phenomenon, and top players enjoying celebrity status.

Esports enthusiasts in South Korea have contributed significantly to Twitch’s user base in the country. However, the decision to shut down operations reflects the difficulty of sustaining a business model amidst soaring operational costs. South Korea’s prominence in the esports world is acknowledged, but economic challenges have forced Twitch to make a strategic withdrawal.

This move by Twitch in South Korea might have broader implications, especially as telecom operators in other markets, including India, are increasingly pushing for content providers to bear network costs. Earlier this year, telecom operators in India recommended that internet companies compensate them for using their networks, citing regulatory changes in Korea as an inspiration.

As Twitch prepares to exit the South Korean market, the international esports community and the platform’s user base in the country will undoubtedly face changes. The broader implications of this decision on the streaming industry, especially in markets with rising network costs, remain to be seen.

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