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Robinhood partners with USD Coin issuer to bring first stablecoin

(Reuters) - Robinhood Markets Inc said on Wednesday it has joined forces with crypto firm Circle to provide customers the option to buy and sell stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) on the brokerage's platform.

The addition of USDC brings the total number of assets available to buy and sell through Robinhood Crypto to 17, and is the first stablecoin listed on the app, the company said.

USDC, which is principally issued by Circle, is the second largest stablecoin with over $50 billion in circulation today. USDC reserves are fully backed by cash and short-dated U.S. treasuries, according to the company, with a 1:1 peg to the U.S. dollar.

The brokerage added customers can withdraw USDC on ethereum and polygon through the Robinhood Wallet, which launched in beta to 10,000 iOS users on the waitlist yesterday.

The two companies are also working closely to develop and build custom educational programs to teach customers the basics about USDC and Circle.

Robinhood's partnership with USDC comes amid a crypto rout and a collapse of major stablecoins in recent months that drew intense scrutiny.

TerraUSD, a major stablecoin, broke its 1:1 peg to the dollar and fell as low as $0.67 in May, spurring a plunge in bitcoin that wiped away billions of dollars from cryptocurrencies.

That sparked a sector-wide turmoil that led to crypto lenders Celsius and Voyager filing for bankruptcy, and Coinbase, BlockFi and Crypto.com laying off thousands of employees.

Issuers of these virtual currencies whose value is pegged to traditional currencies would face bank-like regulation and oversight under a draft bill from senior U.S. House lawmakers, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters in July.

(Reporting by Mehnaz Yasmin in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)