Please keep in mind that cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products with no UK or EU investor protection. You could lose all the money you put into them. Capital gains tax may apply to profits from cryptocurrency sales.

How to Buy USD Coin (USDC)

Updated On: Nov 22, 2022
How to Buy USD Coin (USDC) UK

Contents:

How to Buy USD Coin (USDC) in the UK

You can buy USDC in the UK from crypto exchanges such as Coinbase and CoinJar.

Follow the steps below to buy and store USDC securely:

  1. Open an account with a crypto exchange: A crypto exchange is a platform or app that connects buyers and sellers of cryptocurrencies. When you sign up, you are able to place buy or sell orders, and the exchange will match your orders with those of investors looking to make opposite trades. You will need to provide some basic information, such as your full name, date of birth, and home address, as well as a picture of your ID. These are legal requirements, and the entire process takes only a few minutes to complete.
  2. Choose and configure your crypto wallet: If you think of the exchange as a marketplace to buy and sell crypto, your wallet is your vault where you store your cryptocurrencies securely. There have been several instances in the past of exchanges being hacked, so having your own wallet (or vault) is the safest way to hold crypto long-term, provided you do not lose your password. The USD Coin is an ERC20 token, so it can be stored on any Ethereum-based wallet, such as Coinbase Wallet or MetaMask Wallet.
  3. Fund your crypto account: If this is your first time buying crypto, you will need to fund the account. This simply means transferring a fiat currency, like the British pound, to the exchange so it can be swapped for crypto. Most exchanges will allow you to fund your account with your debit card, credit card, PayPal or direct bank connection. If you already have crypto in another exchange or wallet, you can fund your new account by transferring your existing cryptocurrencies, provided the crypto exchange supports them.
  4. Purchase USDC: Once you have funded your account, you can now buy USDC. Type the ticker symbol ‘USDC’ into the search bar of your chosen crypto exchange to find USD Coin. Once you locate the coin, you may buy USDC tokens at the current market price or set a limit to automatically purchase the token once it reaches your target price.
  5. Transfer your USDC to your crypto wallet: Now that you have bought some USD Coins, you can transfer them to your wallet for safekeeping. If you want to sell the tokens in the future, simply transfer them back to the exchange to sell them.

Where to Buy USDC

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best crypto exchanges to buy USDC in the UK. These are platforms, wallets, apps and websites where you can buy USD Coin (USDC), Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies in the UK.

Please remember that cryptoassets are highly volatile, unregulated investment products with no UK or EU investor protection. You could lose all the money you put into them. Additionally, capital gains tax may apply to profits from cryptocurrency sales.

Here are some of the best crypto trading apps to buy USDC in the UK:


Coinbase - Good for beginners; Live prices; Wallet; Popular coins

Coinbase logo
Minimum Deposit
£0
Trading Fees (Maker/Taker)
0.50% - 0.00% / 0.50% - 0.04%
Withdrawal Fees
Green check mark indicating yes
FX Fees
Green check mark indicating yes
FCA Registered
Green check mark indicating yes

Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange that allows you to buy, sell and earn popular digital currencies, and keep track of them in one place. With Coinbase, you have over 500 cryptocurrencies and other digital assets to choose from, including popular coins and tokens like Bitcoin, Ethereum, USD Coin, Tether, Dogecoin and Cardano. You can set up recurring trades and invest in cryptocurrency slowly over time by scheduling buys daily, weekly, or monthly. You can also track your trades and monitor market movements via the web app or iOS and Android mobile apps. The Coinbase Wallet allows you to store all your crypto and NFTs in one place, trade 500+ assets on DEXes and earn interest.

There are multiple fees involved when trading crypto on Coinbase. Fees are calculated at the time you place your order and may be determined by a combination of factors, including the selected payment method, the size of the order, and market conditions such as volatility and liquidity.

Please note: Cryptocurrency is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and is not subject to protection under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or within the scope of jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service. Investing in cryptocurrency comes with risk and cryptocurrency may gain in value, or lose some or all value. Capital gains tax may apply to profits from cryptocurrency sales.

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CoinJar - Live prices; Crypto wallet; Crypto card; Beginner-friendly

Minimum Deposit
£10
Trading Fees
1%
Withdrawal Fees
Red cross mark indicating no
FX Fees
Red cross mark indicating no
FCA Registered
Green check mark indicating yes

CoinJar is a cryptocurrency app and exchange based in the UK and Australia. With Coinjar, you can trade or invest in 50+ cryptocurrencies, including popular coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and USD Coin. Customers can buy, sell, hold or spend cryptocurrencies via the CoinJar app and wallet. The CoinJar Card lets you make purchases with your crypto, online and in-store. It’s free to activate, and there are no monthly fees for using the card. You also earn CoinJar Rewards every time you spend with your card. CoinJar is suitable for both beginners and advanced investors.

The minimum deposit to open an account with CoinJar is £10. Deposits are made in GBP, so FX fees do not apply. There is a trading fee of 1% on the CoinJar mobile app and website. The CoinJar Exchange (for market orders and aggressive limit orders) charges 0.00% for taker orders and 0.04 - 0.1% for maker orders (limit orders).

Please note: Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products with no UK or EU investor protection. Your capital is at risk.

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Gemini - Live prices; Crypto wallet; Beginner-friendly

Gemini Logo
Minimum Deposit
£0
Trading Fees (Maker/Taker)
0.25% - 0.00% / 0.35% - 0.03%
Withdrawal Fees
Green check mark indicating yes
FX Fees
Green check mark indicating yes
FCA Registered
Green check mark indicating yes

Gemini, founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, is an easy-to-use cryptocurrency exchange suitable for both beginners and advanced crypto traders. Gemini makes it simple to research the crypto market, buy Bitcoin, Ethereum and 50+ digital currencies, and build a portfolio of cryptocurrencies and tokens. With Gemini, you can trade assets, manage your holdings, set recurring trades, dynamic price alerts and choose a default currency from GBP, USD, AUD, CAD, EUR, HKD and SGD. You can also track your trades and monitor market movements via the web app or iOS and Android mobile apps. UK customers can access the Gemini Exchange, which offers various beginner-friendly and advanced crypto trading tools. UK customers can also access the Gemini wallet, which lets you store all your assets in an insured hot wallet or institutional-grade cold storage system.

There are multiple fees involved when trading crypto on Gemini, including transaction fees, Maker-Taker fees and withdrawal fees, depending on whether you access the Gemini Exchange via the mobile app, web app or ActiveTrader interface. Gemini charges between £0.75 - 1.49% for mobile and web app trades and Maker-Taker fees for orders placed via ActiveTrader.

Please note: Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products with no UK or EU investor protection. Your capital is at risk.

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Coinsmart - Good for beginners; Advanced crypto trading tools

Coinsmart logo
Minimum Deposit
£0
Trading Fees
0.20% - 0.30%
Withdrawal Fees
Green check mark indicating yes
FX Fees
Green check mark indicating yes
FCA Registered
Red cross mark indicating no

Coinsmart is an easy-to-use crypto exchange on a mission to make cryptocurrency accessible to everyone. It is designed to be a simple crypto-trading platform that anyone can use and understand. With Coinsmart, you can buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and other digital currencies quickly and easily on desktop and mobile. There are multiple fees involved when trading crypto on Coinsmart. Some of the fees include withdrawal fees (depending on your withdrawal method) and trading fees.

Promo: Get C$20 (~£12) in Bitcoin when you fund your account with a minimum of C$100 (~£63). Promo code: getcrypto.

Please note: Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products with no UK or EU investor protection. Your capital is at risk.

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OKX - Beginner-friendly; Wallets, Advanced crypto trading tools

OKX Logo
Minimum Deposit
£0
Trading Fees (Maker/Taker)
0.08% - -0.005%/ 0.100% - 0.020%
Withdrawal Fees
Red cross mark indicating no
FX Fees
Red cross mark indicating no
FCA Registered
Red cross mark indicating no

OKX is one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world, and it allows you to buy, sell and store hundreds of popular cryptocurrencies and altcoins. OKX users can trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, USD Coin, XRP, ADA, SOL, DOGE and many other popular cryptocurrencies. Users can also trade a wide range of DeFi cryptocurrencies such as Uniswap, AAVE, Maker, Synthetix and Compound, as well as NFT-related cryptocurrencies such as ApeCoin, FLOW, Chiliz and MANA (Decentraland). OKX allows you to buy crypto with GBP and over 30 other fiat currencies or with your existing cryptoassets. OKX has crypto trading tools for beginners, advanced traders and institutions. Users can also earn high yields, access new tokens early, join OKX’s mining pool, or use cryptoassets to take out low-interest loans.

OKX charges Maker-Taker fees for trades conducted on the exchange. These fees are different for regular and VIP users. Regular users are categorised into tiers by their total OKB holdings, whereas VIP users are categorised by 30-day trading volumes and daily asset balances. The trading tiers are updated daily.

Promo: Buy or deposit US$50 worth of crypto and get a Mystery Box.

Please note: Cryptoassets are highly volatile unregulated investment products with no UK or EU investor protection. Your capital is at risk.

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What Is a Stablecoin?

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies pegged on a one-to-one basis to a “stable” reserve asset like the US dollar, euro, yuan or gold. They are designed to reduce the volatility associated with cryptocurrencies.

Theoretically, one stablecoin should almost always equal the value of the reserve asset it is pegged to (i.e. 1 USDC = 1 USD). This way, one can spend, hold or gift stablecoins without worrying about the price volatility associated with unpegged cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

This is especially beneficial for people in developing countries where the national currencies are unstable. Stablecoins also serve as a safe haven for crypto traders in times of extreme volatility.

Almost all stablecoins work by holding reserves of the pegged currency in a bank account, meaning that the digital currency is fully backed by the equivalent fiat currency.

There have been attempts to create stablecoins not backed by fiat currency, known as algorithmic stablecoins. These have yet to prove successful, with one of the most high-profile of these being Terra USD which recently collapsed.

While cryptocurrency prices can fluctuate wildly on a daily basis, reserve-backed stablecoins like USDC are generally much less volatile, hence the name.

What Is USD Coin?

USD Coin or USDC is a stablecoin pegged on a one-to-one basis to the US dollar. The idea behind this is that one should always be able to exchange 1 USDC for US$1 (at least, in theory).

In reality, there are some minor fluctuations in the price of USDC, but this is simply an issue of supply and demand, with traders sometimes prepared to pay slightly more than $1 or accept slightly less than $1 in order to facilitate their trade quickly.

The range at which USDC trades is, however, very tight as it generally trades within a small fraction of a percent of $1.

Launched in September 2018, USDC is a stablecoin backed by cash and dollar-denominated assets of at least equal, fair value to the USDC in circulation in segregated accounts with US-regulated financial institutions. According to the creators, such accounts are verified publicly by an independent accounting firm.

USD Coin was created by the Centre consortium, a partnership between peer-to-peer payment services company, Circle, and cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase.

How Does USD Coin Work?

According to the Centre Consortium, every USDC on the internet is 100% backed by cash and short-term US treasuries, so it is “theoretically” always redeemable 1:1 for US dollars.

USDC reserves are held in the custody and management of leading US financial institutions, including BlackRock and BNY Mellon. Each month, Grant Thornton LLP, one of America’s largest audit, tax and advisory firms, provides third-party assurance as to the size of the USDC reserve.

USDC maintains its peg to the US dollar by burning and minting new coins in conjunction with deposits and withdrawals. If you were to buy USDC in the UK with British pounds (GBP), new USDC would be minted as your GBP was converted into US dollars and deposited into a bank account.

The same happens in reverse. If you were to withdraw your USDC back to GBP, that USDC would be burned as it would no longer be backed by real currency. 

The way a reserve-backed stablecoin works is almost identical whether you are looking at USDC vs USDT (TetherUSD) or other stablecoins such as BUSD (BinanceUSD).

USDC vs USDT

Here are some of the differences between USDC and USDT:

Trading volumes for USDT are generally higher, though this is partly because it has been around longer. USDT was created in 2014, while USDC began in 2018. This is not that important, as USDC also has a huge trading volume and is very liquid.

The main difference between USDC vs USDT is transparency and, potentially, safety. Tether has generally been reluctant to release public audits of its holdings, and at one point, it even applied to the New York Supreme Court to block the release of this information.

Coinbase and Circle, on the other hand, have made significant efforts to be as open and transparent as possible, releasing monthly audit statements from global accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP.

Coinbase and Circle also use only cash and short-dated US treasury securities to hold their USDC reserves. In contrast, Tether currently holds only 82.45% of USDT reserves in cash or cash equivalents. The remainder of the USDT reserves comprises other assets such as secured loans, corporate bonds and precious metals.

What Is USD Coin Used for?

Investors who buy USD Coin are looking to keep their money within the crypto environment while also aiming to limit their volatility. Even the biggest cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, can be incredibly volatile.

Holding USDC means that the value of your crypto holdings will be much more stable, as the US dollar, which USDC is pegged to, is a very stable global currency.

There are many reasons why investors might want to do this. USDC can be used as a ‘safe haven’ during a bear market or a crypto crash, which allows holders to sit on the sidelines and wait for a good time to ‘buy the dip’ in other cryptocurrencies. 

It can also be an excellent way to easily transfer currencies across borders or for use by investors who live in countries where the currency is unstable and real US dollars are hard to come by.

USDC is also often used as a liquidity currency for trades without a direct market. For example, if a trader wants to exchange one small-cap currency for another, the exchange might not offer a direct trade between the two because the market is too small.

In these cases, it might be necessary to trade the first for USDC and then trade the USDC for the second one.

What Is the USD Coin Blockchain?

USDC is an ERC-20 token which means that it utilises the Ethereum blockchain. This is a common usage of the Ethereum blockchain, with many well-known cryptocurrencies using this standard.

Some other examples of ERC-20 tokens using the Ethereum blockchain include Tether USD (USDT), Chainlink (LINK) and Shiba Inu (SHIB).

Is USDC Safe?

On the risk spectrum within cryptocurrency, USDC is considered one of the safest currencies you can hold.

This is because it is fully backed by reserves of real US dollars, which is generally considered the safest fiat currency in the world. That said, no cryptocurrency is 100% safe, and neither is any other form of investment.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where can I buy USDC in the UK?

You can buy USDC in the UK from the following crypto exchanges:

  1. Coinbase - Best for beginners; Live prices; Wallet; Popular coins
  2. CoinJar - Live prices; Crypto wallet; Crypto card; Beginner-friendly
  3. Gemini - Live prices; Crypto wallet; Beginner-friendly
  4. Coinsmart - Good for beginners; Advanced crypto trading tools
  5. OKX - Beginner-friendly; Wallets, Advanced crypto trading tools

2. Is USD Coin worth buying?

USD Coin is worth buying if you want a cryptocurrency pegged to the US dollar. It will not provide large gains but can serve many other useful purposes. Buying USDC allows investors to hold a low-volatility cryptocurrency that can be easily exchanged for US dollars and other cryptocurrencies. It can allow for easy and cost-effective cross-border movement of funds, access to US dollars in countries where this can be difficult to secure, and help provide liquidity for investors in their portfolios.


3. Is USD Coin real money?

USD Coin is not a fiat currency or legal tender in any country. However, it is fully backed by and redeemable for real US dollars, making it a good substitute as far as cryptocurrencies go.

4. Can USD Coin make money?

Investors can make money by staking USDC. Staking is when an investor leaves their cryptocurrency on an exchange and receives rewards in return. Currently, Coinbase is offering a 1% APY for staking USDC on their platform. It is also possible to make money from USDC with the movements in the exchange rate. Because USDC is pegged to the US dollar, it can go up and down in value compared to other currencies, such as the British pound.


5. What is the future of USD Coin?

So far, USDC has fulfilled its promise as a stablecoin. At this stage, there are no indications or concerns about its position, and in the future, it looks to continue its role in the crypto sector. According to the September audit by Grant Thornton, there is currently $47,479,523,936 in reserves and $47,261,819,834 USDC in circulation, making it very well capitalised for the future.


6. Can USDC give you interest?

Yes, USDC can pay you interest. If you are prepared to stake USDC on an exchange, it will often pay a yield to the investor. Currently, Coinbase is offering a 1% APY for investors who stake USDC.


7. How often is interest paid on USDC?

Staking rewards depend on the platform holding your USDC rather than USDC itself. For investors who stake their USDC with Coinbase, the rewards are paid once a month based on your staked amount from the month before.


8. Can you sell USD Coin for cash?

Yes, you can sell USD Coin for cash. Most exchanges will allow you to transfer your USDC back into fiat currencies such as US dollars or British pounds. When USDC is sold for cash, the tokens are burned to keep the supply equivalent to reserves being held.

9. What are the risks of USDC?

The main risk of holding USDC in the UK is that it is tied to the US dollar. If the British pound weakens against the US dollar, your USDC will be worth less in British pound terms.


10. How does USDC make money?

USDC makes money from the interest on the cash and cash equivalents it holds. For example, with the current reserves of approximately $47 billion, even if they only earned interest of 0.10% per year, that would equate to an income of $47 million.

11. Which wallet accepts USDC?

As USDC utilises the Ethereum blockchain, most Ethereum-based wallets will allow investors to hold USDC. Examples of Ethereum-based wallets include Coinbase Wallet and MetaMask Wallet. All wallets are different, so it is important to double-check that yours is compatible with USDC before attempting to make a transfer. 

12. Where is the best place to buy USDC?

Here are some of the best places to buy USDC in the UK:

  1. Coinbase - Best for beginners; Live prices; Wallet; Popular coins
  2. CoinJar - Live prices; Crypto wallet; Crypto card; Beginner-friendly
  3. Gemini - Live prices; Crypto wallet; Beginner-friendly
  4. Coinsmart - Good for beginners; Advanced crypto trading tools
  5. OKX - Beginner-friendly; Wallets, Advanced crypto trading tools

13. Can I convert USDC to Bitcoin?

Yes, you can convert USDC to Bitcoin. Almost all exchanges which offer both USDC and Bitcoin will allow you to exchange one for the other.

14. What is the current price of USDC?

The current price of USDC is $1.00 or £0.85 (at the time of writing). You can find the live price of one USD Coin at any point in time on CoinMarketCap.

Yes, you can buy USDC legally in the UK. While the UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), does not currently regulate cryptocurrencies, it displays a list of the crypto exchanges that are currently registered with it. Some of them include Coinbase, CoinJar, and Gemini.


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