Coinbase to store more of its $220 million USDC holdings on Base Coinbase to store more of its $220 million USDC holdings on Base

Coinbase to store more of its $220 million USDC holdings on Base

As of press time, the exchange only holds 17% of its USDC on Base.

Coinbase to store more of its $220 million USDC holdings on Base

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate. Image includes combined content which may include AI-generated content.

Coinbase said that it will store a greater amount of USDC on its Base network on March 26.

Max Branzburg, Vice President of Product, announced the change on X. He wrote:

Going forward, Coinbase is going to be storing more corporate and customer USDC balances on Base.

Branzburg said the change will allow Coinbase to manage and secure customer funds with lower fees and faster settlement. He added that the change will not impact user experience.

Branzburg also urged other companies to follow Coinbase’s lead as it moves its business on-chain.

Coinbase’s USDC breakdown

Data from Arkham Intelligence indicates that Coinbase currently holds $220.7 million of USDC in total and stores only 17% of it on Base — equating to $37.4 million.

Most of its USDC holdings — 155.1 million USDC, amounting to roughly 70% of the total — are currently held on Ethereum.

Coinbase stores the remaining 13% of its USDC on various other chains, including $17.2 million on Arbitrum (7.8% of the total), $4.9 million on Avalanche (2.2%), $5.1 million on Optimism (2.3%), $1.0 million on Polygon (0.5%), and $38,557 on BNB Chain (0.02%).

coinbase usdc balance across networks
Coinbase USDC balance across networks (via. Arkham Intelligence)

Shifting the balance

As of March 26, there was $735.2 million in USDC natively on Base, plus $73.5 million of USDC bridged from Ethereum to Base.

Coinbase moving hundreds of millions of dollars in the stablecoin to the network could noticeably shift the chain’s overall USDC balance.

However, Coinbase’s USDC holdings are just a small fraction of USDC’s total $32.3 billion market cap, of which $27.2 billion exists on Ethereum. As such, shifts involving Coinbase’s USDC balance will not impact USDC’s broader Ethereum distribution in a significant way.

Coinbase previously had a key role in governing USDC through the CENTRE consortium. However, in August 2023, CENTRE was dissolved, passing governance to Circle.

Coinbase now holds a stake in Circle, and the two firms maintain a commercial relationship.

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