Algorand Becomes an Official Chain for USD Coin (USDC)
SAN FRANCISCO and BOSTON, September 9, 2020 — The Centre Consortium has announced that Algorand is now an official blockchain for USD Coin (USDC). The newly released mainnet implementation of USDC for Algorand is available today, and becomes the second major blockchain after Ethereum with native support for USDC.
The Algorand blockchain brings significant innovations to the market, specifically around transaction scale and speed, helping to expand the use cases for USDC across a broad range of payments and financial applications.
As evidenced by the recent and very rapid growth and usage of stablecoins on public chains like Ethereum, there is a tremendous need for blockchain infrastructure that can scale to support significantly higher transaction throughput and lower fees on public Layer 1 blockchain infrastructure.
Critically, Algorand brings over 1,000 tps and transaction fees of 1/20th of a cent to the USDC ecosystem, and soon to be released innovations from Algorand offer the potential of scaling throughput by 8-10x on Layer 1, accompanied by new secure smart contracts that complement standard tokens such as USDC.
This expanding support for USDC on new blockchains comes as USDC has rapidly grown to over 1.8 billion in circulation, experiencing more than 3x growth in the past six months, and decisively becoming the world’s leading compliant and regulated digital dollar stablecoin.
Centre was formed with the vision of creating a global standard for fiat-based internet-native digital currency, allowing money to be exchanged instantly, globally and at a low cost over the open internet, in much the same way that content, messages and data flow over the internet today. Just as the standards and formats we use for content and data (HTTP) and communications (SMTP, SMS, VOIP) work across multiple platforms, devices and operating systems, Centre aims to ensure that its stablecoin standards, formats and protocols work across multiple major blockchain platforms.
Earlier this year, Centre announced its Multichain USDC Framework, an effort to increase interoperability and provide a wide range of developers, projects and ecosystems with the power of USDC and future Centre stablecoins. The Centre Multichain USDC Framework establishes a rigorous set of criteria for the issuance and operation of USDC on new blockchains, while also supporting innovation and experimentation by third-party developers and blockchain platforms. Algorand is the first blockchain platform to achieve the highest level of certification as an official chain for USDC, and will be an excellent addition to the Centre multi-stakeholder ecosystem.
Centre has also been encouraged by the broad and growing interest in using USDC within regulated financial institution settings, including by leading consumer fintech and payments companies, global banking and securities firms. Algorand brings a deep focus on the features and needs of regulated financial institutions, supporting these expanding use cases.
“This is a defining milestone for frictionless mainstream payments as well as sophisticated financial applications,” said Silvio Micali, Founder of Algorand, Inc. “This launch brings together the convenience of USDC and an advanced protocol for global financial exchange in which Layer-1 smart contracts are as simple and secure as ordinary payments.”
“Expanding USDC from Ethereum to additional blockchains like Algorand will ensure USDC has the flexibility to support everything from emerging DeFi projects to large-scale financial institutions. Today’s launch represents a significant improvement to USDC’s scalability, improving its utility and making it a significantly more useful protocol for solving real-world financial problems,” said Alesia Haas, Chief Financial Officer at Coinbase. “We look forward to supporting USDC on Algorand for both our retail and institutional customers in the future.”
“Algorand has been at the forefront of innovation in scalable, secure blockchain infrastructure, and with the next major phase of growth with USDC demanding web-scale infrastructure for global consumer payments applications, we are excited to support the launch of USDC on Algorand,” said Jeremy Allaire, Chairman and CEO of Circle. “Algorand’s focus on providing capabilities that are geared towards regulated financial institutions is also important as digital dollar stablecoins such as USDC become a core market infrastructure in the financial services industry more broadly.”
USDC for Algorand is available on the Algorand Mainnet. Also, today, Centre member and USDC issuer Circle announced the general availability of support for Algorand within Circle’s family of platform services and APIs, including Circle Payments, Wallets, Marketplaces and Business Account APIs. Developers leveraging Algorand for payments, commerce and financial applications now have access to powerful APIs for connecting to banks and cards, storing and managing digital currency wallets, and building custom financial applications.
As part of this release, wallet developers and exchanges can take advantage of new Circle Wallet APIs that enable seamless cross-chain swaps of USDC-ERC20 (Ethereum) and USDC-ASA (Algorand), enabling applications that already support USDC on Ethereum to be able to send and receive USDC over Algorand, and vice versa.
About the Algorand Foundation
The Algorand Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that has a vision of a borderless, frictionless economy built on public, decentralized blockchain technology. The Foundation, in partnership with Algorand Inc, has built the Algorand blockchain protocol — initially designed by cryptography pioneer and Turing award winner Silvio Micali and a team of leading scientists — as the cornerstone of achieving this vision. The Foundation envisions a wide breadth of applications being built on this protocol by a new, wider community of mainstream developers. The Foundation is committed to facilitating this innovation in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner by utilizing the Proof of Stake consensus algorithm.
Circle is a global financial technology firm that enables businesses of all sizes to harness the power of stablecoins and public blockchains for payments, commerce and financial applications worldwide. Circle’s platform has supported over 100 million transactions worth tens of billions of dollars, with nearly 10 million retail customers, over a thousand businesses, while storing and securing more than $5 billion in digital currency assets. Circle is also a principal developer of USD Coin (USDC), which together with Coinbase and the Centre Consortium oversees the standards and protocol for what has become the fastest growing, regulated, fully-reserved stablecoin. USDC now stands at a 1.8 billion market cap and is adding nearly 200 million net new digital dollars in circulation every week. Today, Circle’s transactional services, business accounts, and platform APIs are giving rise to a new generation of financial services and commerce applications that hold the promise of raising global economic prosperity for all through programmable internet commerce.