The current total supply of stablecoins, such as USDT, is close to $110 billion, almost 4 times the supply at the beginning of 2021. But this growth has not been evenly distributed among the various stablecoins. In the uncertain crypto market, the stablecoin market is also changing.
Historically, most Tether activity has occurred primarily during Asian business hours. But over the course of 2021, the distribution shifted to European/US market hours later in the day.
There are several potential contributing factors to this situation. While Tether issues over $30 billion worth of USDT on Ethereum, Tether is also issued on many other blockchains, including Tron and Solana.
Tether is generally widely used for transactions, and some of that transaction activity may move to other blockchains that can offer lower fees than Ethereum. Additionally, the move of miners and investors out of China due to new government regulations could lead to a drop in Tether activity in Asia. However, this only explains the changes since May, not earlier ones. USDT_ETH is also increasingly being used as collateral for DeFi protocols, which could lead to some usage shifts.
The distribution has also been fairly stable since 2020, suggesting that Tether remains the most dominant stablecoin used in Asian markets, although overall activity may have decreased. In contrast, Bitcoin and Ethereum usage tends to be more evenly distributed over the time of day.
As stablecoins become a larger part of the overall crypto market, they are also gaining more attention from the outside world. Regulators are turning their attention to stablecoins at an increasing rate, and the imminent rise of CBDCs could also affect stablecoins. As stablecoins become a larger part of the crypto ecosystem, it is critical to continue researching stablecoin usage patterns.