Circle Launches USDC Stablecoin on NEAR Protocol


Stablecoin issuer Circle announced on Thursday the launch of the USDC stablecoin on NEAR protocol, a public layer-1 blockchain network compatible with smart contracts. This will make NEAR blockchain the 13th blockchain network on which the Circle-branded stablecoin will be launched.

USDC Debuted on NEAR Blockchain

Before now, the NEAR protocol allowed users to bridge the USDC stablecoin directly from the Ethereum network. Bridged USDC was called “USDC.e”. This “bridged USDC” is not compatible with the Circle platform and can be lost forever if users send the USDC to a Circle account.

With the latest announcement, Circle will collaborate with the NEAR Foundation, a non-profit organization developing the NEAR protocol, to “facilitate the migration of liquidity from bridged USDC to native USDC.”

The latest move allows retail users and businesses to access the native USDC stablecoin to facilitate transactions. Blockchain developers will also be able to utilize the native USDC in building decentralized applications (dApps).

At the time of the announcement, three digital wallet providers had already confirmed support for the stablecoin. They are Ledger, NEAR Wallet, and MyNearWallet. Some NEAR-based decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols currently integrating with the native USDC include the lending protocol Burrow Cash, the decentralized exchange Ref Finance, and the trading platform Orderly Network.

USDC Expands Into More Networks

This is not the first time Circle will be launching a stablecoin on a blockchain network. In June, the USDC stablecoin issuer announced the launch of USDC on the Arbitrum network. The dollar-pegged stablecoin, originally launched on the Ethereum network, has been integrated with other blockchains such as Stellar, Avalanche, Algorand, Solana, Flow, and others.

Joao Reginatto, VP of Product at Circle, commented on the expansion into other blockchains.

“The multi-chain expansion increases USDC’s native availability from eight ecosystems to thirteen, and enables blockchain developers building on USDC and their users to experience greater liquidity and interoperability within the crypto economy. Extending multi-chain support for USDC opens the door for institutions, exchanges, developers and more to build their innovations and have easier access to a trusted and stable asset,” he said.

Meanwhile, the NEAR cryptocurrency had minimal price impact following the news. The asset currently trades at $1.11, representing about a 2.5% increase in the past 24 hours.

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