Native USDC on NEAR and Its implications On The Rainbow Bridge & Aurora

Native USDC on NEAR and Its implications On The Rainbow Bridge & Aurora

Back in September, NEAR Protocol & Circle (the company behind USDC) announced their official partnership, intending to bring USDC as a native coin on the NEAR blockchain.

The deployment is expected to happen by the end of 2022, but with the numerous implications it has for all users and DEVs on Aurora, we, at Aurora Labs, have decided to proceed with the required changes already, thus offering everyone more time to get used to this update.


With the close link between Aurora and both NEAR and Ethereum via the Rainbow Bridge, two similar USDCs (by symbol) would have emerged: USDC bridged from Ethereum over the Rainbow bridge (bridged USDC onwards) and native USDC on NEAR.


Great user experience is a core value of Aurora. For this reason, and to avoid any user confusion, Aurora labs has chosen to update bridged USDC's metadata. Particularly, the symbol of the token will be changed from USDC to USDC.e. This update would be performed on both NEAR and Aurora and shall take place on the 2nd of December 2022, after 12pm UTC.


USDC.e will be, from now on, the symbol chosen to denote ‘bridged USDC’. No action is required if you currently are holding USDC bridged from Ethereum, as previously bridged USDC will be kept in all wallets, just with a symbol renamed to USDC.e.

There will be no change in contract address, nor in $ value. Also, the change of the metadata won't influence any existing AMM pools that includes bridged USDC.

We performed the same update three months ago for NEAR-Native USDT. This change will go through the exact same process, so you can expect the exact same result.

Regarding bridging actions, it simply means that:

  • One can bridge Aurora USDC.e to Ethereum and get USDC on Ethereum (whether or not those USDC (Ethereum) tokens were bridged from Ethereum to Aurora before this update)
  • One can bridge Aurora USDC.e to NEAR and get USDC.e and vice versa
  • One can bridge NEAR USDC.e to Ethereum and get USDC on Ethereum

Please also note that:

  • "USDC" on NEAR & Aurora now denotes the official NEAR-native USDC token
  • The upcoming Native NEAR USDC will be bridgeable to Aurora.
  • NEAR-native USDC can't be bridged over the Rainbow Bridge to Ethereum - you have to swap it to USDC.e first, and then bridge USDC.e to Ethereum.

How and where to swap USDC.e to NEAR-native USDC and vice versa?

We expect that both NEAR and Aurora communities will create stableswap pools between USDC.e and USDC on both Aurora and NEAR networks once USDC is officially deployed. It is fair to anticipate that such pools would be created on Trisolaris and Ref Finance. There's no limitations for other DEXes to implement such pools.

Note to the DEVs building on Aurora & NEAR

We recommend all wallet and project builders in both the NEAR and Aurora ecosystems to double-check how they are showing information to their users: getting it directly from the metadata OR using their own repos of the metadata (for example through token lists). In the latter case, said projects and wallets should update the metadata to match the new metadata of USDC.e.

A clear and easy-to-understand communication with your users is also required. Announcement bars, pop-ups, and so on, are recommended for (at least) the first month, to allow periodic users to be aware of the update.