Tether (USDT) – the largest stablecoin globally, has experienced continuous growth in its market capitalization, reaching an all-time high of $90 billion on December 6th before retreating слигхтлъ to $89.9 billion. This surge suggests a renewed trust in the crypto market despite facing regulatory hostilities.
Over the last month, the market cap has increased by around 6%, bringing the year-to-date growth to over 35% from a modest $66.24 billion, demonstrating its capacity to navigate market volatility and restore investor faith.
The growth also signified an improvement in liquidity in the market with an influx of additional capital into the ecosystem.
State of Stablecoins
Following major incidents such as the Luna collapse in June 2022 and the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) crisis in March, there was a significant decrease in the overall supply of stablecoins, signaling a lack of confidence in the market.
However, from October 2023 onwards, there has been a consistent increase in the total stablecoin supply, indicating a positive shift. This upward trajectory serves as an early indicator of enhanced on-chain liquidity, suggesting a scenario where more capital is ready for deployment, according to the latest CoinMetrics report.
USDC – the widely used stablecoin in decentralized finance (DeFi) applications – experienced a notable portion of its supply residing in smart contracts, reaching a peak of over $20 billion in March 2022. However, throughout the year, this figure slashed by half from its peak of $14 billion in March to $7 billion by December 2023.
In contrast, Tether (on Ethereum), primarily held in externally owned accounts (EOAs), has demonstrated a different trajectory. Its involvement in smart contracts has expanded, increasing from $4 billion at the beginning of the year to surpass $6 billion.
The report also found that the number of addresses holding greater than $100k USDC has declined to 13k addresses, while those for USDT on Ethereum remain relatively stable.
But USDT on the Tron network has a completely different story. Tether on Tron witnessed a steady growth in adoption, with nearly 40k addresses holding greater than $100k. Such a trend can be attributed to its cheaper transaction fees and potentially increasing use in developing economies across parts of Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
Spot Trading Volume
There has been a significant uptick in stablecoin spot trading volumes, highlighting their utility as a quote asset on both centralized and decentralized platforms. CoinMetrics found that USDT continues to dominate the trusted spot volumes, reaching $18.8 billion on November 15th.
These volumes rank second only to those observed during significant market events such as the Terra, FTX, and SVB collapse.
USDC volumes have also recently surged, reaching $2.5 billion in November – a record high in USDC trading volume.
In contrast, the volumes for other stablecoins have declined, primarily due to the reduction in BUSD volumes, which Binance announced it would cease supporting this month.
Overall, the upward trend in volume signifies a growing interest among traders and investors in gaining exposure to crypto assets with the potential for appreciation, particularly as the broader crypto markets are experiencing an upswing.