Stablecoins, or dollar-pegged crypto assets, comprise around 8% of the total crypto market capitalization with a combined market cap of $173 billion. That figure has surged more than 420% since the same time last year.
Tether has been the dominant force in stablecoins for the past few years. In January 2021, USDT commanded a comfortable 75% market share.
Today, Tether’s slice of the entire stablecoin pie has fallen to 45% but it still remains the market leader with 78.4 billion tokens in circulation.
More USDC on Ethereum
Tether’s closest rival is Circle’s USD Coin or USDC. It has experienced a massive increase in supply over the past 12 months and currency has 45.4 billion tokens circulating according to the company. This is a gain of 800% since January 2021 giving Circle a market share of 26% for its stablecoin.
Most of Circle’s supply of USDC, or around 89%, is on the Ethereum blockchain and it now has more there than Tether.
According to the token wallet address, there is currently 39.8 billion USDT on the Ethereum network. Circle’s stablecoin has now surpassed this with 40.5 billion USDC on Ethereum according to its wallet address on Jan. 19.
With escalating Ethereum network fees, which are currently around $33 for an average transaction, Tether has been shifting its supply to other networks. Almost half of it, or 38.7 billion USDT, is on the Tron network. The remainder is spread over a few other blockchains including Omni, Solana, EOS, Liquid, Algorand, and SLP (Bitcoin Cash).
The third-largest stablecoin by market capitalization is Binance USD (BUSD) which has a circulation of 14.2 billion tokens according to FXempire. TerraUSD (UST) has taken the fourth spot from the decentralized DAI stablecoin with 10.7 billion tokens. DAI has a little less at 9.3 billion.
Shift in Stablecoin Sentiment
Tether has been embroiled in a number of lawsuits and regulatory scrutiny for the past couple of years. Company executives promised a full audit last year but it has yet to materialize and U.S. lawmakers are growing increasingly concerned about its somewhat opaque reserves.
Circle is a fully regulated company so there appears to have been a sentiment shift over the past year with crypto traders and investors favoring USDC over USDT.
On Jan. 14, Tether froze $160 million worth of tokens on three addresses as the firm made adjustments to its blacklists.