Avalanche Adds USDC Stablecoin in Continued DeFi Push

The speedy Ethereum rival hopes native USDC will be a boon to users.

AccessTimeIconDec 14, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 4:06 p.m. UTC

Avalanche, an Ethereum-rivaling smart contract blockchain, is adding a native version of USDC – the stablecoin backed by cash and liquid cash equivalents that is administered by Boston-based Circle.

Bringing USDC to Avalanche should further grease the wheels of decentralized finance (DeFi) on the network, following a recently announced $200 million incubation fund for DeFi projects of various stripes. Robust stablecoin options are seen as table stakes for any emerging base layer looking to rival Ethereum for functionality.

  • How Blackbird Brings Dining Experiences On-Chain
    How Blackbird Brings Dining Experiences On-Chain
  • How On-Chain Consumer Products Represent an Industry Shift
    How On-Chain Consumer Products Represent an Industry Shift
  • Former Circle Analyst on Stablecoin and CBDCs
    Former Circle Analyst on Stablecoin and CBDCs
  • Circle Gets First Stablecoin License Under MiCA, Head of Global Policy Weighs in on What's Next
    Circle Gets First Stablecoin License Under MiCA, Head of Global Policy Weighs in on What's Next
  • Up until now, users have had to bridge USDC from Ethereum over to Avalanche.

    “This is kind of convoluted,” said Ava Labs President John Wu in an interview. “Going forward, this partnership allows native USDC to be minted and printed right on Avalanche, which will save users costs and the headache of buying and selling.”

    Wu said the addition of native USDC to Avalanche will likely “turbocharge” the amount of DeFi already happening on the network. He pointed out that there is around $1.3 billion passing across the USDC bridge to Avalanche, which is more than the amount being bridged across tether (USDT), currently the highest-volume stablecoin in circulation.

    “On Avalanche, the use of USDC is higher than that of USDT,” Wu said. “Although USDT’s market cap is bigger, USDC is probably the one that a lot of U.S.-based people trust more.”

    USDC’s multi-chain push

    Avalanche will be the seventh blockchain to incorporate Circle’s USDC, joining Hedera, Tron, Ethereum, Algorand, Stellar and Solana. Earlier this year, Circle announced plans to expand USDC to about 10 more networks.

    Circle VP of Product Joao Reginatto said he was excited to see USDC integrate with Avalanche, which already has significant traction in DeFi and ranks in the top five chains in terms of total value locked (TVL).

    In terms of a bump in volume experienced by chains that add USDC, Reginatto said it typically takes a transition period to get everything working, as well as getting market makers on board and supply circulating.

    “As we’ve observed in the past, there’s never an immediate impact,” Reginatto said in an interview. “There’s a meaningful lag since it’s a new asset and the ecosystem always needs to make adjustments, and typically it takes a number of months until things kick into gear.”


    Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

    Ian Allison

    Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.