VanEck to manage reserve fund for new Agora Dollar stablecoin venture after $12 million raise

Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) issuer VanEck is set to oversee the reserve fund for a new stablecoin venture called Agora Dollar (AUSD).

The stablecoin firm raised $12 million in a funding round led by crypto venture fund Dragonfly. The firm was launched by Nick Van Eck, the son of legendary investment manager Jan Van Eck, in collaboration with Drake Evans and Joe McGrady.

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VanEck is the issuer of one of the recently approved Bitcoin ETFs in the US. Its fund, HODL, has enjoyed modest adoption since its launch, boasting $586 million in assets under management.

Agora Dollar

AUSD is a fully collateralized fiat-backed stablecoin looking to upend the market with its “customer-first perspective in a compliant structure.”

According to the firm:

“Agora believes that digital dollars should be treated akin to public goods, returning our revenue back to the ecosystem and especially to those who drive utility and liquidity.”

The firm revealed that it is focused on regulatory compliance and is pursuing licenses where applicable. However, its services are only available in select markets outside the United States.

Agora said the cash custodian of its reserve fund will be one of the largest custodians in the world. Additionally, its reserve fund assets will be bankrupt remotely, held in trust, and regularly audited.

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Stablecoin market growing

Agora arrives when the stablecoin market enjoys an uptrend and entrance from major financial players like PayPal and decentralized finance projects like Aave and Ethena.

According to CryptoSlate’s data, the sector’s total market capitalization has grown by 15% on the year-to-date metric to approximately $150 billion, its highest level since FTX collapsed in November 2022.

Tether’s USDT remains the dominant asset in the space, controlling more than 69% of the market. Its growth trajectory has shown no signs of slowing down as it has expanded to new blockchain networks, and its market capitalization now hovers around $104 billion.

Meanwhile, Circle’s USDC is experiencing a notable resurgence amidst the bull market. Its supply increased by 22% during the year’s first quarter to $32.7 billion, the highest among major stablecoin issuers.

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Additionally, newcomers like Ethena’s USDe synthetic dollar have garnered significant attention thanks to its appealing yield model.

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