USDC and the Future of Financial Inclusion – with Mercina Tillemann Perez, VP of Impact at Circle

Ever wondered how a digital dollar could revolutionize financial inclusion? Join us on the Web3 CMO Stories podcast as we welcome Mercina Tillemann Perez, VP of Impact at Circle, to explore the incredible potential of USDC, a stablecoin issued by Circle. 

Mercina, with her rich background in policy, technology, finance, and health, shares her insights on how USDC is transforming access to financial services, especially for underserved communities. Discover how this digital dollar leverages blockchain technology and the stability of the US dollar to provide fast, affordable financial solutions, from cross-border remittances to humanitarian aid. With 75% of USDC wallets holding balances under $100, it's clear that these services are accessible and practical for a broad range of users.

But that's not all—we also delve into Circle's impactful initiatives aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Learn about the benefits of real-time payments and reduced transaction fees, which are crucial for global business operations. Mercina discusses Circle's educational platform, Circle U, and its efforts to enhance digital financial literacy through partnerships with universities worldwide. Furthermore, we highlight the significance of global pitch competitions in advancing sustainable development goals and Circle's vision for a seamless global financial system. Tune in and understand how Circle is not just talking about change but actively creating a world where financial inclusion is a reality for everyone.

Exploring Financial Inclusion with Circle’s VP of Impact, Mercina Tillemann-Perez

Welcome to another enlightening episode of the Web3 CMO Stories podcast! This time, our host, Joeri Billast, sits down with Mercina Tillemann Perez, VP of Impact at Circle, to discuss an array of topics touching on human-centric technology, stablecoins, and the future of global financial transactions. This conversation is packed with compelling insights and real-world applications of blockchain technology that aim to drive financial inclusion.

Introduction to Circle and USDC

Mercina begins by briefing the audience on Circle’s role as the sole issuer of the digital dollar, or stablecoin, known as USDC. She explains that payment stablecoins combine the efficiency of blockchain technology with the stability of conventional currencies like the U.S. dollar. Unlike cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which can fluctuate due to supply and demand, USDC maintains price parity with the U.S. dollar. This is ensured by backing it with highly liquid assets held by a global bank, making it always redeemable one-to-one for U.S. dollars.

Journey and Background

Joeri then shifts the conversation to Mercina’s impressive background. Prior to joining Circle, she worked in multiple sectors including policy, technology, finance, and health. Mercina’s journey includes roles on Capitol Hill, with the Human Rights Commission, and in strategic planning for both public and private sectors. Her focus at Circle is to make sure the positive effects of digital currencies and blockchain technology benefit historically underserved communities.

Human-Centric Technology

Mercina delves deep into the concept of human-centric technology, emphasizing the importance of designing systems that prioritize the needs, experiences, and well-being of all users. She argues that emerging technologies, like blockchain and Web3, often cater to tech-savvy early adopters. By adopting a human-centered approach, Mercina is hopeful that the next generation of Web3 applications will be more intuitive and accessible for a broader audience.

Impact of USDC on Financial Inclusion

Joeri asks Mercina about the impact of Circle’s technology on financial inclusion. Mercina highlights several ways in which USDC contributes to financial access globally. Specifically, she points out that 70-75% of USDC wallets hold balances of less than $100, demonstrating its accessibility. This has been particularly useful in facilitating cross-border remittances and assisting humanitarian organizations to deliver aid more efficiently. She shares compelling success stories, including the distribution of aid to Venezuelan healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital Financial Literacy and Education

Education is another cornerstone of Circle’s mission. Mercina elaborates on the launch of CircleU, an educational platform designed to improve digital financial literacy. Initially aimed at Circle employees, it has since expanded to universities and external partners. The goal is to ensure that the next generation of solutions is built by the individuals who will use them, fostering a more inclusive financial system.

The Importance of Partnerships

Partnerships play a crucial role in Circle’s mission. Mercina discusses the global series of pitch competitions that Circle hosts, focusing on empowering entrepreneurs who are working toward United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These events have brought together key players from various sectors to drive innovation.

Circle’s Long-Term Vision for Digital Currencies

Looking toward the future, Circle envisions a world where global commerce operates as seamlessly as digital communication. Mercina articulates that their overarching goal is to eliminate the barriers in global payments, thus raising global economic prosperity. By developing products like USDC and fostering strategic partnerships, Circle is committed to creating a more equitable and efficient global financial system.


Joeri wraps up the conversation by encouraging listeners to visit Circle’s website for more information. He appreciates Mercina’s insights and emphasizes the significant role that Circle is playing in transforming financial systems worldwide.

Key Takeaways

1.Introduction to USDC: A stablecoin combining blockchain’s efficiency with the dollar’s stability, maintaining a one-to-one parity with the U.S. dollar.

2.Human-Centric Technology: Importance of designing technology that serves the needs and experiences of all users, not just early adopters.

3.Financial Inclusion: USDC’s role in facilitating more accessible financial services globally, especially for underserved communities.

4.Education Initiatives: CircleU aims to promote digital financial literacy and expand access to blockchain and Web3 education.

5.Global Partnerships: Circle’s pitch competitions foster innovation by bringing together diverse partners working toward sustainable development goals.

6.Long-Term Vision: Circle aims for a seamless global commerce system where cross-border payments are as easy as sending an email.

For more enriching insights and updates from Circle, visit their official website at Stay tuned for the next episode of Web3 CMO Stories, and thanks for joining us on this journey into the future of financial technology!

Mercina Tillemann Perez, Circle

Mercina Tillemann Perez, Circle


[01:27] Can you share a bit about your background and what led you to your role as VP of Impact at Circle? 

[03:25] What does human-centered technology mean, and why is it crucial for Web3 development? 

[04:55] How are USDC and Circle's technology contributing to global financial inclusion, and what impact do you see on traditionally underserved communities? 

[08:22] Can you give a specific example of how USDC has been used in humanitarian aid during a crisis? 

[10:36] Can you discuss how USDC and blockchain can positively disrupt the traditional financial system? 

[12:18] As a small business owner and sole entrepreneur, isn't it true that digital currencies are accessible and beneficial for businesses of all sizes, not just large corporations? 

[13:29] Do you have another success story where Circle's impact has significantly improved financial inclusion? 

[15:45] Can you elaborate on the importance of partnerships for your mission of financial inclusion and innovation? 

[17:41] What is Circle's long-term vision for the future of digital currencies and blockchain technology, and how do you envision your role in achieving this vision? 



"By adopting a human-centered approach, I'm hopeful that the next generation of Web3 applications and infrastructure is better equipped to serve an increasingly broad part of the population." 

"USDC has the capacity to empower businesses and individuals to engage in commerce and financial transactions with increased speed, lower costs, and increased accessibility." 

"By leveraging digital currencies like USDC, RTMs was able to facilitate the swift, secure distribution of critical financial assistance to these healthcare workers in Venezuela." 

"One of the really fun initiatives that I launched at the end of last year is this global series of pitch competitions." 

"We're expanding access to payments and making them work better for everyone." 








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About the author, JoeriBillast

Fractional CMO
Web3 Marketing Strategist
Bestselling Author on Amazon
Host of the Web3 CMO Stories podcast