Cryptocurrency

Tether supply hits $80B for the first time since May 2022 — Stablecoin rivals stumble

Tether (USDT) continues to benefit from the ongoing turmoil in the U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin industry with its market capitalization growing significantly in Q1 2023 at other stablecoins’ expense.

Tether market cap reaches $80 billion

On April 6, the circulating market cap of USDT surpassed $80 billion for the first time since May 2022 with a gain of $15 billion so far in 2023.

On the other hand, the market caps of its chief rivals, namely USD Coin (USDC) and Binance USD (BUSD), fell by about $12 billion and $9.4 billion, respectively.

Tether benefits from non-U.S. status

Crypto traders opted for Tether given the growing concerns around USD Coin and Binance USD.

Notably, USDC market capitalization slipped due to its $3.3 billion exposure to the now-collapsed Silicon Valley and Silvergate banks. While BUSD suffered after New York regulators ordered Paxos to shut down the stablecon’s issuance.

USDC weathered the crisis after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s assurance that they would make depositors at the insolvent banks whole. As a result, the stablecoin recovered its dollar peg after losing it at the peak of the banking crisis in mid March. 

But a growing crypto crackdown in the U.S. has prompted investors to maintain distance from regional firms. For instance, Paxos confirmed that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) treats BUSD as an unregistered security.

On the other hand, Tether is a non-U.S. firm and has repeatedly assured that it has no exposure to insolvent U.S. banks. Nonetheless, it keeps facing constant scrutiny over its reserve assets and lack of proper audits for years, despite such issues becoming less of a concern among traders.

USDT supply drops across exchanges

Interestingly, the growth in the USDT circulating supply has coincided with a drop in its supply across exchanges.

Related: USDT issuer Tether has up to $1.7B in excess reserves, CTO says

Tether’s balance on exchanges has dropped 28% YTD to 12.88 billion USDT, according to Glassnode. In comparison, the aggregated stablecoin balance across exchanges has dropped by 41% YTD to $22.31 billion.

The decline in stablecoin reserves coincides with a crypto market rally, suggesting that traders have been converting their crypto dollars to buy Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH).

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

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