Stablecoins Facilitated $1 Trillion in Transaction Volume in Q1 2021

Stablecoin monetary base is also growing, on track to hit $100 billion after more than doubling so far this year.


Total stablecoin supply has nearly hit $80 billion. Starting the year just under $29 billion, these cryptos or fiat pegged stablecoins added about 33.33 billion to its supply in Q1 of 2021.

USDT remains the dominant stablecoin with a $51.86 billion market cap while doing 3.4x of bitcoin volume at over $68 billion, as per Messari. This week, the largest US exchange Coinbase announced support for Ethereum-based USDT.

Although USDT is still the king, its dominance is gradually decreasing over time.

USDC, BUSD, and DAI were the quarter's biggest winners, growing their share to 17%, 6%, and 5%, respectively.

With a market cap of $10.85, USDC comes in second place, doing only a fraction of USDT’s volume at $2.3 billion.

Binance’s BUSD is also gaining momentum, as it records almost $10 billion in volume while having a market cap of $5.25 billion. DAI is a $3.58 billion market cap stablecoin handling $560 million in volume.

Overall, stablecoins facilitated $1 trillion in transaction volume in Q1 2021, which is more than the previous four quarters combined, noted Ryan Watkins, a researcher at Messari.

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Stablecoins had an incredible quarter, with their monetary base continuing to rise at an accelerating pace in line with the growing adoption.

This adoption is for a number of reasons including stablecoins being easy to accept as payments. These programmable digital currencies “allows developers to trivially build with them and deploy applications with global distribution.”

Moreover, they run on global public infrastructure that operates 24/7/365 while offering users stronger autonomy, privacy, and interoperability qualities than existing payments solutions which require KYC and often restrict access, said Watkins.

In the stablecoin realm, Facebook’s fiat-backed project, Diem Association is aiming to launch a pilot with a single stablecoin pegged with USD later this year. First proposed in June 2019 with the name libra, the project has received opposition from regulators around the world.

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