Today marks a milestone achievement for Circle. Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP) is available on mainnet, finally enabling the permissionless transfer of USDC natively across supported blockchains. We’re eager to see what developers build with this new capability.
This has been a journey long in the making. When Circle set out to build USDC in late 2017, we weren’t looking to build “just” a dollar stablecoin. Many years ago, Circle operated a retail peer-to-peer payments product called Circle Pay, which utilized the Bitcoin blockchain to settle cross-border fiat transactions. In our pursuit of a better blockchain-based platform that could support the development of consumer applications, we gravitated toward the Ethereum ecosystem and eventually landed on the concept of stablecoins. We were developers seeking an open platform that allowed us to bring the benefits of blockchains to billions of users of financial services around the world. We brought this vision to life with the introduction of USDC.
Following the launch of USDC on Ethereum in 2018, we started on a journey towards making USDC a digital dollar platform that offered near-instant and free settlement, and at the time that meant pursuing other blockchain substrates. By the end of 2021, USDC was natively present on eight different blockchains (Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche, TRON, Algorand, Stellar, Flow, and Hedera), allowing developers to choose from different scaling, cost, and capability footprints.
With the Cambrian explosion of third-generation blockchains and Ethereum scaling solutions, moving USDC across blockchains became a desirable primitive for many developers and applications. However, the traditional approaches to delivering on this interoperability primitive involved a concept of lock-and-mint bridging, causing a proliferation of synthetic USDC assets. In early 2022, the developer and user experiences around utilizing USDC across blockchains had become far less than ideal. The proliferation of bridging solutions and synthetic versions of USDC resulted in fragmented liquidity, security risks due to large amounts of the native asset locked on-chain, and confusing developer and end-user experiences.
Today, Circle is launching Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol, or CCTP. With USDC being an off-chain collateralized asset, CCTP gives USDC the unique ability to be “teleported” across chains, where USDC is effectively destroyed on the source chain and recreated 1:1 on the destination chain – the US dollar reserves remain intact. CCTP is a permissionless protocol built for developers, allowing them to benefit from this phenomenal transport primitive.
Developers can now build applications with seamless support for different native versions of USDC, allowing businesses to target end-users in different blockchain ecosystems. Imagine USDC deposits and withdrawals that reach the end-user where they are or applications that can tap into cross-chain USDC liquidity. With CCTP and cross-chain native transport, USDC can become one of the most secure, interoperable, and efficient digital dollar solutions anywhere.
CCTP is the most ambitious piece of neutral market infrastructure that Circle has built since introducing USDC in 2018. We are humbled by the support we have received from ecosystem developers, wallets, and infrastructure providers who have already integrated CCTP, including: Axelar, Celer, Hyperlane, LI.FI, MetaMask, Multichain, Rarimo, Router, Socket, Wanchain, and Wormhole. We are tremendously excited about the cross-chain applications developers can build with USDC, whether directly connecting to CCTP or indirectly leveraging one of our partners. This infrastructure brings us another step closer to an open dollar developer platform that serves as a foundation for moving money on the internet.
Build with us!
Interested in trying out CCTP? Head over to our developers resource page to learn more about CCTP and get access to the developer docs.