Native USDC Is Going xChain: Wormhole Integrates Circle’s CCTP

Wormhole
5 min readMar 2, 2023

We’re incredibly excited to announce that Wormhole has partnered with Circle to provide a seamless cross-chain development experience. Wormhole is launching a new set of contracts integrating Circle’s Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP), enabling developers to compose generic messages on top of cross-chain, native USDC transfers. This integration is now live in testnet.

I. What is Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP)?

While Circle’s USDC lives natively on several different blockchains, those tokens are not fungible and can’t be moved easily across chains. That is, until now.

At Converge22, Circle announced plans to launch a permissionless protocol, the Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP), which uses the same cross-chain burning and minting process as a commercial Circle Account, enabling users to transfer USDC natively across chains. With Wormhole integrating CCTP, it is easier than ever to utilize.

II. Wormhole integrates Circle’s CCTP

Wormhole’s integration with CCTP enables significantly more powerful cross-chain applications alongside the benefits of burning and minting native USDC across the supported chains. Wormhole-powered generic messaging lets developers compose any arbitrary set of cross-chain functions with a native USDC transfer.

Wormhole is releasing two sample demos, along with the associated code repositories, to illustrate what developers can build on top of WH x CCTP smart contracts:

1. Cross-chain native swap

Wormhole’s native swap demo utilizes native USDC transfers as a “highway” that subsequently enables swaps on the destination and source chains. For example, a user wants to swap native ETH on Ethereum into AVAX on Avalanche.

The contracts utilize both Wormhole’s generic messaging and Circle’s CCTP to:

  1. Swap native ETH on the source chain into USDC.
  2. Transfer the USDC to Avalanche.
  3. Swap the USDC into AVAX.
  4. Finally, send AVAX to the user’s Avalanche wallet.

Try the demo!

2. Cross-chain USDC transfer

Wormhole’s cross-chain transfer + swap demo composes a token transfer and a swap into a single transaction. A user can pay gas on the source chain to transfer native USDC between Chain A and Chain B while also electing to swap some of the transferred USDC into the destination gas token.

Try the demo!

Beyond asset transfers, Wormhole’s integration with CCTP increases the options for constructing cross-chain DeFi protocols, such as:

  • Borrow-lend protocols, which address fragmented liquidity by allowing for the borrowing and lending of USDC across different networks.
  • Decentralized exchanges, which facilitate faster and smoother trading activities by enabling USDC holders on a separate chain to provide liquidity.
  • Yield aggregators, which make yield markets more efficient by deploying USDC liquidity across different chains

III. What are the benefits?

  • Transfer native assets with full composability: The Wormhole contracts are a powerful way to transfer native USDC across chains, along with composable generic messages to enable more powerful cross-chain applications.
  • No slippage: No need to swap a wrapped token for a chain’s native token. USDC transfers happen 1:1. Users only pay gas fees on the corresponding chains.
  • Enhanced security: Wormhole’s decentralized network is secured by its validators, the 19 Guardians that attest to messages they observe on the connected chains. They do so by running a full node for each chain to monitor the Wormhole Core contracts (learn more here). Those contracts ensure that the transferred USDC is correctly burnt on the source chain, and consequently, tell Circle’s CCTP to execute specific requests on the destination chain.
  • Chain any function on top of native USDC transfers: Wormhole’s integration with Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol lets developers compose functions on top of native USDC transfers, powering interactions like native, cross-chain swaps between ETH and AVAX.
  • No need for gas: Wormhole’s relayer network enables users to transfer messages without the need to pay gas fees on the target chain while paying gas only on the source chain.

IV. Want to learn more?

Wormhole is open source from the start. Dive into our docs and begin developing on the cutting-edge of cross-chain: Start right here.

V. Wormhole noob? No problem!

If you’re new to Wormhole, here’s what you need to know:

Wormhole is an interoperability protocol that allows projects to build on top of its generic message-passing layer. It connects to multiple chains, including Ethereum, Solana, Binance Smart Chain, Polygon, Avalanche, Algorand, Fantom, Karura, Celo, Acala, Aptos and Arbitrum. Wormhole does this by emitting messages from one chain to another, which are observed and verified by a Guardian network of nodes. After verification, this message is submitted to the target chain for processing. This simple message-passing primitive enables xChain functionality. Users interact with xDapps (xChain decentralized applications) to transfer xAssets (cross-chain assets) between networks or access their xData (xChain data) to provide them services on their current network.

VI. Some Wormhole stats

  • The protocol’s total volume stands at over $35B
  • Hundreds of millions of messages have successfully been transmitted
  • Currently, millions of messages are submitted each day
  • More than 60 protocols currently build on top of Wormhole’s generic message-passing layer. See who they are.

VII. Wormhole’s supported networks

Applications built with Wormhole allow users to send assets to and from any of the 20+ supported chains without double-wrapping the asset. It enables seamless access to each network’s vibrant DeFi and NFT ecosystems!

Check out the Portal bridge to see which chains you can bridge to:

VIII. Join the ever-growing Wormhole community

If you have questions, need support or simply want to connect, join the Wormhole community and keep up-to-date with our upcoming announcements. We’re always happy to hear your feedback. Join our discord, and drop us a comment!

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Wormhole

Cross-chain interoperability protocol connecting high value blockchains