Van Eck Heir to Launch New USD-Backed Stablecoin Amid $12M Funding

Nick van Eck, son of investment management luminary Jan van Eck, is gearing up to unveil a new United States dollar-backed stablecoin following a successful $12 million funding round.

Partnering with crypto stalwarts Drake Evans and Joe McGrady in October, van Eck’s initiative, Agora, is slated to introduce the Agora digital dollar under the ticker AUSD, as reported by Bloomberg on April 2. Van Eck assumes the role of CEO for the venture.

The AUSD stablecoin is set to be fully collateralized by cash, U.S. Treasury bills, and overnight repo agreements. Additionally, VanEck, a $90 billion asset management firm helmed by Jan van Eck as CEO, will oversee a fund dedicated to managing reserves for Agora.

Kyle DaCrzu, VanEck’s director of digital assets, stressed the importance of having transparent and reliable institutions handling the assets backing digital dollars.

Leading the charge in Agora’s $12 million seed funding round was digital asset VC firm Dragonfly. Other notable investors include Robot Ventures, Wintermute, Breed, and General Catalyst, where van Eck previously served as a partner.

Before joining Agora, Evans served as the head of lending at decentralized finance firm Frax Finance, while McGrady held the role of director of operations at digital asset management firm Galaxy Digital. Agora’s parent company is registered in Delaware, with its stablecoin issuer based in the British Virgin Islands. Initially, Agora will target specific markets outside the U.S.

Given the absence of federal legislation governing stablecoins in the U.S., van Eck emphasized that their focus would primarily be on international customers. He highlighted regions such as Argentina and Southeast Asia as areas that stand to benefit significantly from a digital dollar.

Agora ventures into a competitive stablecoin landscape, with giants like Tether (USDT) and Circle (USDC) leading the charge with market caps of $104.3 billion and $32.5 billion, respectively, according to CoinGecko. The top six stablecoins following Tether and Circle all boast market caps exceeding $500 million, underscoring the robust competition in the stablecoin sector.


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Maria Irene
Maria Irene
Maria Irene is a multi-faceted journalist with a focus on various domains including Cryptocurrency, NFTs, Real Estate, Energy, and Macroeconomics. With over a year of experience, she has produced an array of video content, news stories, and in-depth analyses. Her journalistic endeavours also involve a detailed exploration of the Australia-India partnership, pinpointing avenues for mutual collaboration. In addition to her work in journalism, Maria crafts easily digestible financial content for a specialised platform, demystifying complex economic theories for the layperson. She holds a strong belief that journalism should go beyond mere reporting; it should instigate meaningful discussions and effect change by spotlighting vital global issues. Committed to enriching public discourse, Maria aims to keep her audience not just well-informed, but also actively engaged across various platforms, encouraging them to partake in crucial global conversations.


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