USDC expands to Polkadot Asset Hub with Circle’s launch
USD Coin(USDC), the second-largest stablecoin by market capitalization, has now launched on the Polkadot blockchain network, continuing its expansion across different blockchain networks.
As Circle recently announced on September 19, the completion of the USDC launch on Polkadot brings exciting opportunities for developers and users alike. The stablecoin is now available for use. To facilitate the transfer of USDC to Polkadot’s parachains, the XCM protocol, a cross-chain messaging standard, can be employed. It allows users to seamlessly transfer USDC using Circle Account and Circle APIs.
Polkadot USDC is issued exclusively on the Polkadot Asset Hub. This specialized parachain is designed for issuing, managing, and transferring digital assets throughout the vast Polkadot ecosystem.
However, it’s important to note that Circle Account and Circle APIs solely support Polkadot USDC, which is natively issued on the Polkadot Asset Hub. This implies that users must initially transfer their USDC from their Circle Account to an external Polkadot Asset Hub wallet address before engaging in communications through the cross-chain messaging (XCM) protocol.
Furthermore, when users decide to transfer USDC from the Polkadot Asset Hub to another respective parachain on Polkadot, they must perform a transfer back to the Polkadot Asset Hub using XCM before depositing the tokens into their Circle Account, adhering to Circle’s guidelines.
“Please do not attempt to deposit XCM-transferred USDC from a parachain other than Polkadot Asset Hub to your Circle Account, as it may not be recoverable and could result in a loss of funds.”
The addition of Polkadot support for USDC is just the latest in a series of integrations for the popular stablecoin. USDC now supports a total of 14 different blockchain networks, including Ethereum, Tron, Stellar, Solana, and others.
Similar to other blockchain integrations, the integration with Polkadot aims to continue Circle’s position as a major interoperable cryptocurrency and support low-cost payments. This integration includes features such as trading, borrowing, and lending on Polkadot-based parachains such as Centrifuge, HydraDX, and Moonbeam.
Furthermore, Polkadot is a blockchain network that launched in 2020 and consists of multiple independent blockchains, known as parachains. These blockchains operate in parallel, allowing for faster transactions while still benefiting from Polkadot’s overall security and decentralization.
The number of blockchains supported by USDC has now surpassed the number of networks supported by Tether (USDT), its main rival. While USDC supports 14 networks, USDT only supports 11. In August 2023, Tether announced that it would stop minting USDT on the Bitcoin Omni Layer, Bitcoin Cash, and Kusama blockchains due to a lack of user interest.