(Bloomberg) -- Circle Internet Financial, issuer of the crypto stablecoin USDC, said it won’t support any offshoots of Ethereum when the blockchain network undergoes a major software update expected to be completed as soon as next month. 

USDC is the largest dollar-backed stablecoin on Ethereum with about $45 billion in circulation, as well as the most popular so-called ERC-20 token used to facilitate transactions on Ethereum, Circle said in a blog post Tuesday.  

Ethereum will shift from using power-hungry computers known as miners to order transactions to much more energy-efficient validators -- a setup called proof-of-stake. But factions are calling for the creation of copies or forks of Ethereum, which would still use miners, in what is known as proof-of-work.  

Access to stablecoins would likely be key to the long-term survival of any alternative blockchains that could emerge. Tokens such USDC lie at the heart of decentralized-finance applications, which let users trade, lend and borrow coins. Without the stablecoins, many of the DeFi apps on forked blockchains may not work. 

“We understand the responsibility we have for the Ethereum ecosystem and businesses, developers and end users that depend on USDC, and we intend to do the right thing,” Joao Reginatto, vice president of project development at Circle, said in the blog post.

In several tweets on July 31, Tether Chief Technology Officer Paolo Ardoino, said the stablecoin will support Ethereum’s proof-of-stake chain. Tether has a overall market value of about $66 billion.

There’s about $69 billion total value locked in DeFi, according to data tracker DeFi Llama. About 58% of it on Ethereum. Almost 90 DeFi apps, including exchange Uniswap, lender Aave and staking derivative maker Lido run the bulk of their activity through Ethereum.  

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