14 Oct 2023
Native USDC is Live on Polygon - What You Must Know
Circle has launched native USDC on Polygon PoS. In this article, we cover the benefits and information that you don't want to miss!
USD Coin (USDC), the popular cryptocurrency known for its stability, is broadening its reach beyond Ethereum roots and integrating with the Polygon network, sparking an era of vast potential for users. Currently available as an Ethereum based ERC-20 token, USDC will expand to six additional blockchains, indicating a significant stride in broadening its reach across Web3. Meanwhile, Visa, recognising USDC's revolutionary potential in transactions, launched a program to facilitate crypto payments through the Solana blockchain. USDC's resilience and increased acceptance into mainstream finance isn't without challenges, such as its temporary loss of peg to the US dollar upon the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. Nevertheless, the integration of native USDC on Polygon allows for a smoother user experience and the ability to build decentralized applications in areas including payments, remittances, and trading. The backing of every USDC token by a dollar or other 'approved investments' in reserves ensures its trust, maintained through regular attestations by Grant Thornton, LLP. The embracing of Polygon for USDC by Circle signals a crucial step towards a more secure model and potentially reshaping the future for stablecoin adoption.
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USD Coin (USDC), renowned for its stability and accessibility, is spreading its wings far beyond its Ethereum roots. Its integration with the Polygon opens up a world of opportunities for users and developers. In this article, we will dive into the journey of USDC, its significance in the cryptocurrency space, and how Circle's decision to embrace Polygon as a native platform is set to benefit all of Web3.
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USDC has primarily been available as an Ethereum based ERC-20 token, making it compatible with the Ethereum blockchain. However, In August 2023, Circle announced that USDC would become available on six additional blockchains: Base, Cosmos via the Noble network, NEAR, Optimism, Polkadot, and Polygon PoS. This move marked a significant step toward broadening USDC's reach across Web3.
Visa, a global leader in payment solutions, recognized the potential of USDC as a means to revolutionize transactions. In pursuit of this vision, Visa initiated a pilot program to facilitate payments to merchants in cryptocurrency via the Solana blockchain. This strategic move illustrated the growing acceptance and integration of USDC into the mainstream financial ecosystem.
Central to the trustworthiness of any stablecoin is the assurance of asset backing. Circle claims that every USDC token is backed by a dollar held in reserve or by other "approved investments." It's important to note that the specific details of these approved investments are not disclosed. In June 2021, Circle made a significant change in its wording by stating that USDC was "backed by fully reserved assets" instead of "backed by US dollars." While the distinction may appear subtle, it signifies a commitment to maintaining a stable value by backing USDC with assets that extend beyond traditional fiat currency.
The reserves of USDC undergo regular attestations by Grant Thornton, LLP. These monthly attestations are publicly accessible on the Centre Consortium's website, providing transparency and accountability in maintaining the stablecoin's value.
USDC's journey in the cryptocurrency world began with its official announcement by Circle on May 15, 2018 and later launched in September 2018. The stablecoin's growth and adoption over time underscore its resilience and trustworthiness in the crypto space.
A significant milestone for USDC occurred on March 29, 2021, when Visa announced its intention to allow the use of USDC to settle transactions on its payment network. This announcement further validated the utility of USDC in the global financial system and marked a crucial step toward mainstream adoption.
However, USDC still faces its share of challenges. On March 11, 2023, USDC temporarily lost its peg to the US dollar. Circle confirmed that approximately 8% of its reserves, totaling $3.3 billion, were at risk due to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. This event served as a reminder of the potential risks associated with stablecoins, emphasizing the importance of asset backing and responsible management. USDC managed to regain its peg to the US dollar just four days after the initial loss.
In August 2023, another significant development occurred when Circle and Coinbase jointly decided to close the Centre Consortium, the organization responsible for managing USDC since 2018. This move placed Circle in sole governance of USDC, indicating the company's commitment to the project's future and its role in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
The announcement from Circle signifies a remarkable shift in the way USDC operates within the Ethereum ecosystem. Circle Mint, the platform's minting service, and Circle's developer APIs now fully support USDC on Polygon. This native integration will create a smoother user experience, removing the complexities of bridging stablecoins from one blockchain to another. Users and developers can now access and leverage USDC on Polygon directly, harnessing the scaling capabilities of Polygon technology.
The introduction of native USDC on Polygon opens up a world of possibilities for businesses and developers. One of the key advantages is the ability to build decentralized applications (dApps) with USDC on the Polygon network. This development is expected to enable near-instant, low-fee transactions, revolutionizing various use cases. Some of the areas set to benefit include:
Payments: With the seamless integration of USDC on Polygon, businesses can offer customers near-instant and cost-effective payment solutions.
Remittances: Sending money across borders will become more efficient and affordable, making it an attractive option for cross-border remittances.
Trading: Traders can execute transactions swiftly and cost-effectively, capitalizing on the low fees offered by Polygon.
Borrowing and Lending: The lending and borrowing ecosystem within decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols will benefit from the increased accessibility of USDC on Polygon, potentially leading to new lending platforms and services.
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Prior to Circle's native Polygon USDC offering, users on the protocol had to rely on bridged USDC (USDC.e) from the Ethereum blockchain. It's important to note that this bridged token is not issued by Circle. The new offering represents a significant departure from this model, as it will be fully redeemable at a 1:1 ratio for United States dollars.
Circle had been providing support for deposits and withdrawals of USDC.e on Polygon for its Circle Mint platform and APIs. However, the company has made the decision to discontinue this service starting from November 10. Users who attempt to send USDC.e to Circle Mint accounts after this date have been cautioned that their assets may become unrecoverable. This step underscores Circle's commitment to moving towards a more secure model with the introduction of native USDC on Polygon.
Circle's ambitions go beyond this native integration. The company has plans to launch a cross-chain transfer protocol to Polygon, facilitating interoperability with other blockchain networks. This move will enable the seamless transfer of Polygon-based USDC to and from the Ethereum blockchain, further enhancing the utility and reach of this stablecoin.
The availability of native USDC on Polygon comes with a multitude of advantages. This development opens the door to low-cost global payments, remittances, and greater accessibility to trading, borrowing, and lending on some of the leading DeFi protocols. Users will be able to tap into the vast opportunities offered by platforms like Aave, Compound, Curve, Uniswap, and QuickSwap, making their interactions with cryptocurrencies more efficient and cost-effective.
Native USDC on Polygon marks a significant milestone in the world of stablecoins and the Polygon ecosystem. The move not only streamlines access to USDC but also expands its use cases and accessibility, particularly within the DeFi ecosystem. Circle's decision to embrace Polygon as a native platform for USDC may well shape the future of stablecoin adoption and use.
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