Stablecoins have hit an all-time high with over $4Bn tokens representing the Greenback now on the blockchain. While Tether dominance remains, new stablecoins that came to market recently have made leapfrogs of progress. And trading volumes have already in less than 5 months beat that of last year’s record with 2019 set to dwarf the now infamous bear market in comparison.
This year to date has seen trading volumes with Tether pairs already exceeding a whopping $1.3 Trillion – $200Mn more than all of last year (see chart 3). Despite the transparency concerns of a now diversified reserve, the dominating market stablecoin has not budged traders from using it as it remains to have the most liquidity and options across cryptocurrency exchanges (Diar, 30 April).
While there is a leering concern of wash trading on unregulated and under-regulated exchanges, current volumes at this magnitude could also indicate a growing difficulty in market manipulation, should it be the case.
|| SLOW AND STEADY WINS A BULL MARKET RACE
Last year’s stablecoin newcomers have not been slouches either. Circle/Coinbase backed USDC has seen its outstanding tokenized version of the US Dollar grow by 41% since the start of the year – north of $100Mn. And trading volumes have finally managed to pick up some speed clocking in a whopping 435% increase (see table, chart 1).
|| GROWING IN TANDEM
TrustToken’s USD, one of the few stablecoin options on the market at the start of last year has seen growth, albeit, smaller than USDC. Still, TUSD has recorded $3.8Bn in trading volume for May, a little over $200Mn than their closest rival. Notably, though, is that TUSD has a higher velocity marking it a favorite by traders as the stablecoin has 30% less in outstanding reserves than Centre’s USDC.
|| BLOCKCHAIN BILLIONS
Major stablecoins now stand north of $4Bn, with more fiat options coming to market, primarily offerings from TrustToken. The company has announced a plethora of new fiat-pegged tokens, but have so far garnered little interest as trading pairs and a forex market does not exist as of yet.
|| BLOCKCHAIN UNUTILIZED
Though numbers impressive, the use case of stablecoins have found little appeal outside of sitting on centralized exchanges. USDC has indeed seen an impressive 540% increase in active addresses on-chain versus the start of the year. And TrustUSD is not very far behind on this metric either. But the absolute maximum addresses using the blockchain have been a mere 5500 at peak on a single day for the two majors outside of Tether.
|| NEW AVENUE PUSH
Last week saw Coinbase make its largest market push yet opening up crypto-to-crypto trading, including USDC, to another 50 countries bringing up the tally to an impressive 103 from 32 just a year ago (Diar, 11 February).
The popular exchange has now invested and built out its own vision of an ‘Open Financial System’ through various avenues from a non-custodial wallet, to supporting major Decentralized Finance (DeFi) companies that have garnered much attention as of late.
And while the experiment still continues as to the long-term stability of these various decentralized applications, the infrastructure is slowly coming together. However, with a focus remaining on distressed economies, the growth and use-case is likely to remain small without developed nations also adopting into the concept.