OKX and Circle teams up to offer gas-free USDC transactions

abdelaziz Fathi

Circle, the issuer of the second-largest stablecoin by market capitalization, and cryptocurrency exchange OKX have joined forces to integrate USDC features into the OKX Wallet and OKX DEX aggregator.

This partnership will enable USDC cross-chain swaps across Ethereum, Avalanche, Arbitrum, and OP Mainnet via OKX’s DEX aggregator, tapping into Circle’s Cross-Chain Transfer Protocol (CCTP). Additionally, OKX Wallet Smart Account users can enjoy fee-free USDC trading until October 5, 2023.

The integration of CCTP with OKX’s DEX aggregator simplifies the process of trading USDC pairs and may expand to support additional blockchains for USDC cross-chain functionality in the future.

OKX Chief Innovation Officer Jason Lau said: “OKX is committed to improving usability and accessibility for users in the Web3 space, and now users have an even better experience as they interact and transact using USDC. In addition, users can conduct transactions without network fees using OKX Wallet’s recently launched Smart Account and seamlessly exchange USDC across various networks via the built-in swap feature.”

Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Policy of Circle Dante Disparte said: “Circle is delighted to  improve access to DeFi with CCTP and innovative gas abstraction features built on USDC in order to streamline user experiences, pioneer transformative change in finance and drive greater adoption of blockchain-powered technology.”

Circle made headlines last month when the stablecoin issuer made the tough decision to downsize its workforce in response to a turbulent year for the digital asset industry.

While the specific reasons for the reported layoffs are uncertain, there are several factors that could have influenced the decision. The so-called crypto winter and unfavorable market conditions have apparently impacted the revenue and profitability of Circle, potentially leading to adjustments in their workforce.

Describing the job cuts as a mere marginal reduction in headcount, Circle said that this move is part of a broader strategy to curtail operational expenses and discontinue investments in non-core activities. The company is also carrying out these layoffs to sharpen its focus and allocate resources more efficiently, all while adapting to the ever-evolving landscape of the digital asset industry, it said.

The move comes after Coinbase has bought an equity stake in Circle, though they decided to dissolve the Centre Consortium, a private organization governing the USDC stablecoin. Coinbase laid out its strategy to build a tech hub in Latin America. Following this acquisition, Coinbase said its next steps will be to expand outside of Brazil, hopefully finding acquisitions in Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina.

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