Block’s TBD Partners With Circle to Create Global Fiat-Crypto Bridges
TBD – a Bitcoin-focused wing of Jack Dorsey’s payments company Block – has partnered with Circle to help expand on and off ramps between the worlds of crypto and fiat.
The teams intend to bolster some of crypto’s premiere real-world use cases, from cross-border remittances to stablecoin self-custody.
Expanding Web 5
According to TBD’s announcement, the team will begin supporting Circle’s stablecoin, USDC, on a number of applications to make it easier to build on the tbDEX protocol Web 5 platform.
The tbDEX protocol is an attempt to create a decentralized Bitcoin exchange, making it easier to bridge value between the fiat and crypto worlds. At present, moving between each requires the use of centralized exchanges, which collect identifying information from their users due to KYC requirements.
As a solution, TBD’s “Web 5” project intends to decentralize data storage and put users back in control of their identity, using the Bitcoin blockchain.
“An open approach solves for decentralized identity and enables safe, scaleable, and frictionless payments to work for consumers and merchants using stablecoins.” stated TBD.
Besides creating global crypto to fiat payment rails, TBD said the partnership would help foster “faster, lower cost remittances globally,” beginning from the U.S. to Mexico.
Cryptocurrencies have proven effective for effective and popular in the global South for use in remittance payments. A Chainalysis report this month found that India and Pakistan – two countries with large remittance markets – were two of the top ten countries in terms of crypto adoption. A Tongan MP – Lord Fusitu’a – has even pushed to make Bitcoin legal tender in his country for its remittance benefits.
Finally, the partnership intends to help individuals in hyperinflationary environments store their wealth using self-custodied stablecoins. This is particularly for individuals who otherwise have limited access to U.S. dollars.
“This partnership aims to make a significant impact on peoples’ everyday financial lives,” said TBD. “It both fuels the potential for crypto to emerge as a mainstream payments system while establishing decentralized identity as the model for building trust in a scalable and privacy-preserving way.”
Block Head Jack Dorsey has previously stated that the U.S. dollar itself is already undergoing hyperinflation. As of August, CPI inflation in the U.S. ran at 8.3% annually – significantly above the target rate of 2%.
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I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.