Cryptocurrencies, blockchain, NFT and new trends

USDC supply stabilizes following Silicon Valley Bank bank woes as tether cements its stablecoin dominance

Stablecoins • April 11, 2023, 5:20AM EDT The Block

Quick Take

  • The supply of USDC on Ethereum has stabilized at just under 31 billion, some 11 billion less than at the start of the year.
  • Demand for Binance USD and Gemini dollar has also sagged.
  • Meanwhile, tether’s share of the Ethereum stablecoin market has increased by more than 10 percentage points. 

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After a wave of redemptions following its links to collapsed U.S. lender Silicon Valley Bank, the supply of the USDC stablecoin on Ethereum has finally started to stabilize — while ceding further ground to larger rival tether.  

The amount of USDC in circulation stands at just under 31 billion — some 11 billion less than at the start of the year — after last month’s high-profile depeg spooked investors. When Silicon Valley Bank shuttered, the second-largest stablecoin temporarily lost its 1:1 peg to the U.S. dollar. USDC issuer Circle had, at the time, $3.3 billion of reserve funds at the bank.

TradingView chart illustrating when USDC lost its peg.

USDC lost its peg to the U.S. dollar in March but ultimately recovered. Source: TradingView

While guarantees from federal regulators helped USDC regain its peg, redemptions steadily continued until now.

Binance USD and Gemini dollar supplies also decline

Other stablecoin supplies on Ethereum have also dwindled since Jan. 1 — notably Binance USD and Gemini dollar. The former, which is issued by Paxos in a deal with the world’s largest crypto exchange, has decreased from just over 16.5 billion to just over 7 billion, while GUSD has dropped from roughly 575 million to less than 391 million.

Regulatory actions against Binance appear to have dented demand for its namesake stablecoin. Late last month, the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission sued Binance for allegedly violating federal laws and failing to register in the U.S. Afterward, a Financial Times report claimed the exchange intentionally obfuscated its links to China. Most recently, Binance Australia Derivatives had its license canceled by the country’s regulator — citing a slew of global regulatory concerns.

There are also concerns regarding the health of the Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss-founded crypto exchange, Gemini. The twins recently loaned $100 million to their firm after an unsuccessful effort to raise outside funds, Bloomberg reported.

Gemini also acknowledged last month that a “limited number” of customers’ email addresses and partial phone numbers were leaked by a third-party — leading to phishing attempts from bad actors.

Tether is increasing its stablecoin dominance

Circle’s woes, Binance’s regulatory concerns and Gemini’s struggles have only bolstered demand for tether, the foremost dollar-pegged stablecoin.

After starting the year with a 32% share of the total Ethereum stablecoin supply, USDT now accounts for almost 43% — an increase of more than 10 percentage points. The supply of tether on the prominent blockchain increased from 32.3 billion to 35.3 billion in that time.

In February, Tether issued an attestation report and claimed its assets exceeded its liabilities. It also reported a net profit of $700 million for the fourth quarter of 2022.