Stablecoin issuer Circle has launched the USD Coin (USDC) on the Polkadot network, expanding the token’s native operations to 14 blockchain networks, including Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche, etc.
According to a blog post by Circle on September 19, all developers and users of the Polkadot network can now natively access the USDC token without needing a bridge.
What To Know About Polkadot USDC?
The Polkadot USDC will be issued on the network’s Asset Hub based on Circle’s announcement. To explain, the Polkadot network comprises several independent blockhains known as parachains.
The Asset Hub is a specific parachain known as the “homebase” of all assets in the Polkadot network. It is designed to facilitate the creation, management, and transfer of digital assets across all parachains in the Polkadot ecosystem.
Therefore, the issuance of USDC on the Polkadot Asset Hub allows the easy movement of the stablecoin 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, has expressed much excitement towards this development. Wagner said:
Stablecoins are an important building block for on-chain economies to flourish, and I’m thrilled that native USDC has finally been issued on Polkadot’s Asset Hub, making it available securely to all projects in the Polkadot ecosystem. USDC, issued by Circle, is the second largest stablecoin by market cap after USDT, which has already been issued natively on Polkadot’s Asset Hub. This pivotal moment will boost liquidity and allow for easier institutional access to the Polkadot ecosystem.
However, it is worth noting that Circle accounts and Circuit API will only support Polkadot USDC natively minted on the Asset Hub. This means that users have to transfer USDC from their Circle account to the Polkadot Asset Hub before moving it to another parachain using XCM.
Similarly, all Polkadot users must transfer their USDC through the Asset Hub to a Circle account. The stablecoin issuing company states that attempts to move the USDC directly from a parachain to an external Circle account can result in asset loss.
Circle Continues USDC Blockchain Expansion
As earlier stated, Circle’s launch of USDC on Polkadot extends the token’s native operations to 14 blockchains. In September alone, USDC had been natively launched on four other blockchain networks besides Polkadot. These networks include the Near protocol, the Noble blockchain, the OP Mainnet, and the Coinbase-developed Base network.
Considering the steep decline in USDC’s market share since the start of 2023, these integrations are widely welcome developments that could boost the adoption level of the stablecoin.
At the time of writing, USDC still ranks as the second-largest stablecoin with a market cap value of $25.51 billion, a 41% decrease from the token’s market share in January, based on data from 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