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AVAX has benefited from the recent USDC integration on Avalanche. 

Avalanche Rises as USDC Launches on Network 

While the market has looked shaky throughout December, Avalanche is defying the trend. 

The Layer 1 blockchain’s AVAX token is up 13.5% today, propelled by yesterday’s announcement that the USDC stablecoin would go live on the network. Previously, using USDC on Avalanche required bridging tokens over from another network such as Ethereum. 

Announcing the launch, Circle CEO and co-founder Jeremy Allaire said that the integration would be “instrumental for developers and communities looking to participate in one of the fastest, organically growing ecosystems in crypto.”

AVAX started rallying shortly after the news dropped even as many other assets on the market stalled. It’s currently trading at $91.52, which is still around 36% short of its all-time high price of $145 recorded in November. Nonetheless, it’s up around 2,750% year-to-date and has outperformed both Bitcoin and Ethereum by some distance. 

Avalanche is a Proof-of-Stake blockchain that offers compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine. It offers high-speed, low-cost transactions, which has made it one of Ethereum’s strongest competitors alongside Solana. Avalanche started to gain traction over the summer when it announced a $230 million funding round and generous liquidity mining program, and its DeFi ecosystem has since begun to flourish. Aave, one of Ethereum’s earliest and most successful DeFi protocols, has deployed the code for its smart contracts on Avalanche. 

The USDC integration means that DeFi user experience on Avalanche will see a significant improvement. Instead of paying high fees to bridge tokens from Ethereum mainnet, users can now access the stablecoin directly on the network and take advantage of the cheap transaction fees. 

Avalanche’s latest jump comes during a period of volatility across the cryptocurrency market. Many digital assets have been range bound throughout December, though the market has seen a slight uptick today. Elrond and NEAR, two other Layer 1 networks that share similarities with Avalanche, are up 17.8% and 10.3% respectively. Bitcoin and Ethereum are both also trading in the green after a bloody few days. 

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this feature owned ETH, USDC, and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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