Fueling the Rise of USDC: Gas Abstraction & Gelato's Vision

Ecosystem Spotlight


“At Gelato, USDC isn't just currency—it's our cutting-edge internet money and payments backbone for both internal company operations, and inside our suite of Web3 infrastructure products and services. Together with Circle, Gelato is working on novel, seamless ways to use USDC as the payment rails for transaction gas fees, removing one of the biggest barriers to Web3's mainstream adoptions.” - Luis Schliesske, Co-founder of Gelato.


An Introduction to Gelato

I am Luis Schliesske, one of the co-founders of Gelato, here to share our journey with you. Gelato is a Web3 Cloud Platform that empowers Web3 industry leaders and Fortune 500 companies to launch their blockchains and smart contracts, all while delivering a feature-rich Web2 user experience, with Circle’s USDC serving as the backbone for payments.

Gelato was co-founded by Hilmar Orth and I with a strong vision to enable developers to build decentralized applications that can spearhead the widespread adoption of Blockchain technology. Since our initial protocol launch back in 2019, Gelato has fostered successful collaborations with industry-leading projects like Optimism, Aave, MakerDAO and many more, playing a pivotal role in powering core protocol functionality with features such as gasless transactions, VRF, and cloud functions for over 450+ dApps and counting.

Recently, Gelato made a significant leap into blockspace by introducing the industry's first augmented Ethereum Rollup-as-a-Service Platform (RaaS) with first chains being built on top of it today. This new platform is a turnkey blockchain deployment solution of optimistic and zero-knowledge L2 chains with cutting-edge Web2 UX and seamless integration with favorite Web3 tools & services.

At Gelato our longstanding commitment is to lower the entry barriers for Web3 developers, making it easy for anyone to create new, feature-rich blockchains and applications. We aim to provide a scalable and user-friendly experience, paving the way for a more decentralized and inclusive digital future.


USDC & Gelato

USDC plays a foundational role within the Gelato platform. As a trusted and widely used digital dollar, USDC is the stablecoin infrastructure powering several services on the Gelato platform.

Gelato has integrated Circle’s products to power its core services: Web3 Functions, Relay, and Automate. Circle’s USDC and Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol are supporting Gelato’s developer ecosystem with the tools to simplify payments and create seamless experiences for their end users. 

Gelato's 1Balance and USDC

Gelato 1Balance is a unified multi-chain payment system that streamlines transactions across Gelato's diverse services. This system offers an easy-to-manage balance, making it simple to cover all transaction costs across supported networks.

1Balance simplifies the complexities of multi-chain operations for more efficient cost management. Incorporating USDC deposits enhances the effectiveness of 1Balance, providing a reliable store of value, shielding users from the volatility commonly associated with digital currencies. USDC deposits on Polygon PoS covers costs across different networks while using Gelato services, ensuring an efficient and user-friendly experience across the platform.


Gelato 1Balance in Relay

Gelato 1Balance stands out as a uniquely designed payment system, providing an optimal solution for customers navigating cross-chain relay transactions. Users deposit USDC into their 1Balance on the Polygon PoS network. This singular balance covers relay costs across all chains, irrespective of the target chain. This service is incorporated into sponsoredCall and sponsoredCallERC2771 requests, where the developer sponsors the costs for their dApp users through the 1Balance system.

The convenience of this process, along with its comprehensive coverage, positions Gelato 1Balance as a transformative tool in the multi-chain landscape. The inclusion of USDC adds to the convenience and robustness of this process, providing developers with a stable and widely accepted cryptocurrency, and reducing friction and complexity in transactions.


Gasless Cross-Chain Transfers with Gelato + CCTP

Circle's Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP) enables USDC transfers securely between supported blockchains via a native burn-and-mint process. The process involves burning a quantity of USDC on a source chain, an attestation by Circle’s automated service to validate the authenticity of the burn, and minting the same quantity of USDC on a destination chain. With no need for lock-and-mint bridging or liquidity pools on either side of the cross-chain transfer, CCTP provides a highly secure and capital-efficient way to move USDC from one chain to another.

The challenge is that all on-chain transactions require network tokens (e.g. ETH on Ethereum, or AVAX on Avalanche) to pay for network gas fees on the source and destination chain. CCTP transfers are no different since there is an on-chain transaction involved to burn and mint USDC. For users, needing to hold a separate network token to pay for gas fees is cumbersome and presents friction in the process, especially for mainstream audiences.

To remove this obstacle, Gelato has integrated CCTP into its Web3 Functions and Relay developer tools, providing an automated way to enable users to pay cross-chain gas fees with USDC. This means a user can now easily access a CCTP-powered app and make a cross-chain transaction with USDC without ever needing to hold ETH, AVAX, or other network tokens.

Here’s how it works:

  1. A user initiates a request to an app to transfer USDC across chains.
  2. The transaction is relayed by Gelato Relay to burn USDC on the source chain via CCTP and pay the gas fee in USDC.
  3. The burn event is observed by Circle’s attestation service and a Gelato Web3 Function fetches the attestation automatically.
  4. The Web3 Function relays the final transaction on the destination chain using the attestation to mint USDC via CCTP for the user and pays the gas fee in USDC.

Developers can start their journey by exploring Gelato's Gasless CCTP Github repo and Circle's guide to CCTP. The combination of Gelato and CCTP paves the way for innovative multi-chain apps that can reshape the user experience for USDC and unlock more mainstream use cases.

We are thrilled to partner with Circle and enable Gelato's Gasless CCTP SDK to pave the way for seamless blockchain interoperability with secure, gas token-agnostic asset transfer. By leveraging Gelato Relay and Web3 Functions, USDC serves  as a universal payment solution to abstract away the complexity of multi-chain infrastructure and unite ecosystems.

Gelato's Gasless CCTP SDK is expected to launch on Arbitrum, Avalanche, OP Mainnet, and many other EVM-compatible chains later this year. Documentation is coming soon. Join the conversation at https://discord.com/invite/buildoncircle


Back to top