USDC Launches Natively on the NEAR Protocol 

NEAR Foundation
September 14, 2023

USDC, the open-source, permissionless protocol and stablecoin that enables any app to send and store digital dollars, is now native on the NEAR blockchain. 

The announcement opens the door for businesses built on NEAR to easily withdraw NEAR USDC and send it on-chain in seconds. Users can also swap USDC natively from Ethereum to NEAR and back — without incurring costs or delays from third-party bridges. MyNearWallet, Ledger, and have all confirmed support allowing a user to hold USDC and interact with dapps on the B.O.S. Other wallets will follow over the coming days.

Before this, USDC was only available on NEAR as a bridged form of USDC, known as USDC.e from Ethereum. This announcement means users get all the benefits of a native stablecoin, empowering developers to integrate stablecoin payments flows into their Javascript and  Rust-based decentralized applications. 

This will unlock a new wave of accessibility for Web2 builders moving into Web3. It will also serve a vital role in NEAR’s mission of Web3 mass adoption, while helping developers build without limits on an open web.

Native versus Bridged

Circle brings USDC natively to new blockchain networks to empower developers to build on a stable foundation they can trust. Native USDC is officially issued by Circle and is always redeemable 1:1 for US dollars.

In the case of NEAR, historically USDC was only available as a bridged version of USDC from Ethereum. USDC.e is not issued by Circle and is not compatible with Circle Account or Circle APIs. This brings a NEAR native version of USDC on chain. 

To facilitate this shift, the NEAR Foundation will be working with ecosystem partners to help facilitate the migration of liquidity from bridged USDC to native USDC.

Exchanges, digital wallets, institutional traders, and developers can now all access NEAR USDC via the Circle Account and Circle APIs. This unlocks a whole range of use cases including:  

  • Making low cost payments and remittances globally in seconds.
  • 24/7 trading, borrowing, and lending on apps like Burrow, Orderly, and Ref Finance.
  • Enable users to hold savings in digital dollars without needing a traditional bank account. 
  • Allow for enhanced cross-chain interoperability with other blockchains via NEAR’s extensive range of bridges. 

In the DeFi realm, Ref Finance will also launch its stable 4-pool on September 14 onwards. Trisolaris, Burrow, Orderly, VEAX and others are all planning on bringing USDC to its platforms within the coming weeks.  

USDC.e will still be supported by the ecosystem during the transition.

Getting started with USDC 

If you’re a business or project working on NEAR, you can readily access on/off-ramps for converting fiat currency to NEAR USDC by applying for a Circle Account.

If you’re new to NEAR, you can find free resources for building apps, deploying smart contracts, creating B.O.S components, and more on the DevRel resources page. 

For developers looking for documentation on building with USDC, check out Circle’s developer docs

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