USDC’s supply on Ethereum surpasses that of USDT’s for the first time

The total supply of USDC stablecoin on the Ethereum blockchain has exceeded that of rival Tether’s (USDT) for the first time.

The current total supply of USDC on Ethereum is 39.92 billion, while the total supply of USDT on the blockchain is 39.82 billion, according to Etherscan.

The showing of USDC outperforming USDT over Ethereum is significant because the blockchain continues to be a major contributor to the growth of both stablecoins. USDC and USDT are available on several blockchains, including Solana and Algorand.

DeFi and other factors driving growth

One of the main reasons for the recent growth of the USDC is its increasing use in the decentralized finance (DeFi) market. Stablecoins are used for trading on decentralized exchanges and for various purposes within the DeFi protocols.

A spokesperson for the department told The Block that recent big moves in the market have also propelled USDC growth.

“With digital asset markets trending up or down, both scenarios tend to generate increased demand for USDC — especially during significant market moves,” the spokesperson said.

As the markets move higher, the increased interest from investors leads to increased demand for USDC as a way to bring fiat currencies to cryptocurrency exchanges. Conversely, when markets are down, more traders sell volatile assets in stable currencies like USDC, the spokesperson said.

USDT is different from its competitors “who rely primarily on DeFi platforms to boost their supply,” Tether Chief Technology Officer Paolo Ardoino told The Block. He said the USDT demand is primarily driven by central exchange users and institutions.

But with the recent bearish crypto market sentiment, USDT demand from institutions has declined, Arduino said, adding that demand from retail investors, however, is growing from Turkey and several countries in Latin America.

Looking at the bigger picture, the total supply of USDT via the blockchain is still higher than the supply of USDC. The total current supply from the former is more than 82 billion, and the latter is about 45 billion.

USDC supply has been steadily increasing over the past several months, while USDT supply has remained somewhat stagnant.

Arduino said there was an “enough amount” of USDT in circulation.

Freeze money

Tether has been increasingly freezing funds lately. Earlier this week, the stablecoin issuer blocked three Ethereum addresses holding more than $160 million in USDT.

Regarding the freeze, Arduino said, “Tether is cooperating with law enforcement’s request, and is imposing a temporary freeze to allow the investigation to continue.”

Last month, Tether froze more than $1 million worth of USDT belonging to a single blockchain address.

Update (January 14, 1 p.m. ET): This story has been updated to include comments from a department spokesperson.

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