Stablecoin issuer Circle has launched USD Coin (USDC) on the Polkadot network, extending the token’s native operations to 14 blockchain networks, including Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche, and others.
According to a blog post published by Circle on September 19, all developers and users of the Polkadot network will now have native access to the USDC token without the need for a bridge.
What do you need to know about Polkadot USDC?
According to Circle’s announcement, Polkadot USDC will be issued on the network’s Asset Center. To explain, the Polkadot network is composed of multiple independent blockchains (called parachains).
The Asset Center is a specific parallel chain, known as the “home base” for all assets in the Polkadot network. It is designed to facilitate the creation, management and transfer of digital assets on all parallel chains in the Polkadot ecosystem.
Therefore, issuing USDC on Polkadot Asset Center can easily transfer stablecoins to other parachains using the XCM protocol, Polkadot’s native cross-consensus messaging format.
Commenting on the launch of Polkadot USDC, Björn Wagner, co-founder of Parity Technologies, the company behind Polkadot, expressed great excitement for this development. Wagner said:
Stablecoins are an important part of a thriving on-chain economy, and I’m excited that native USDC is finally being issued on Polkadot’s Asset Center, making it securely available for use by all projects in the Polkadot ecosystem. USDC, issued by Circle, is the second-largest stablecoin by market capitalization, behind USDT, which has been issued natively on Polkadot’s Asset Center. This critical moment will increase liquidity and make it easier for institutions to enter the Polkadot ecosystem.
However, it is worth noting that Circle accounts and Circuit API will only support Polkadot USDC minted natively on Asset Hub. This means that users must first transfer USDC from their Circle account to the Polkadot Asset Center, and then use XCM to transfer it to another parachain.
Likewise, all Polkadot users must transfer their USDC to a Circle account through the Asset Center. The stablecoin issuing company said that attempts to transfer USDC directly from the parachain to an external Circle account may result in the loss of assets.
Circle continues USDC blockchain expansion
As mentioned earlier, Circle’s launch of USDC on Polkadot expands the token’s native operations to 14 blockchains. In September alone, USDC has been launched natively on four other blockchain networks besides Polkadot. These networks include Near Protocol, Noble Blockchain, OP Mainnet, and the Base Network developed by Coinbase.
Considering that USDC’s market share has declined sharply since early 2023, these integrations are widely welcomed and will likely increase stablecoin adoption levels.
As of this writing, USDC remains the second-largest stablecoin with a market cap of $25.51 billion, down 41% from the token’s market share in January, according to DeFiLlama.
Total crypto cap valued at $1.058 trillion on the hourly chart | Source: TOTAL chart on Tradingview.com
Featured image from CoinMarketCap, chart from Tradingview