Here is our pick of the 3 most important stablecoin stories during the week.
Stablecoins are the Canary in the Crypto coal mine!
This week we continue to see the shakeout from the FTX implosion and stablecoins point to it continuing for some time yet.
Binance, Crypto.com and OKX suspended deposits in Circle’s (USDC) and Tether’s (USDT) stablecoins based on the Solana blockchain.
Victoria Davis, Crypto.com’s VP of corporate communications, later clarified in an email to Axios, “We have temporarily disabled the ability to withdraw or deposit USDT and USDC via the Solana protocol due to Solana network conditions and the risk posed by the significant role of FTX as a Solana-based stablecoin bridge and trading venue.”
Some alarm bells were raised when the yield on Circle’s Earn product showed zero on versus 0.25% the day earlier.
The change seemed to coincide with Genesis Global‘s crypto lending unit announcing that it would halt customer withdrawals and loan originations, which led to the Winklevoss twins’ exchange Gemini suspending its yield-earning Earn product.
“Circle chose to change the yield from 0.25% yield to 0% before Genesis closed their credit lines,” Busch, the spokesperson for Circle, says. “Circle Yield has historically been driven by demand to borrow in crypto capital markets.”
Crypto exchanges mum on abrupt stablecoin deposits halt
Meanwhile a JPMorgan report measured investors’ exodus from the crypto ecosystem as shrinkage of the stablecoin market.
The combined market cap of the largest stablecoins reached a peak of $186 billion in May, before the Terra/LUNA collapse, the note said. That compares with less than $30 billion at the start of 2021 and about $5 billion a year before that. Since May, the stablecoin universe has dropped by $41 billion, with just under half of the decline attributed to the demise of Terra.
This outflow of looks small relative to the $165 billion that had entered the crypto market via stablecoin creation in 2020 and 2021, “but it would be difficult here to imagine a sustained recovery in crypto prices without the shrinkage of the stablecoin universe stopping.”
In some positive news, USDA would be the first fully fiat-backed, regulatory-compliant stablecoin in the Cardano ecosystem. The issuance will be partnered with a regulated financial services company based in the United States as the banking partner, ensuring the stablecoin is fully compliant and adheres to regulatory guidelines
So in summary as the Crypto market continues to wobble it will be the stablecoin market that indicates when prices will stabilise and potentially grow as funds and confidence begin to return.
Alan Scott is an expert in the FX market and has been working in the domain of stablecoins for many years.
We have a self imposed constraint of 3 news stories per week because we serve busy senior Fintech leaders who just want succinct and important information.
For context on stablecoins please read this introductory interview with Alan “How stablecoins will change our world” and read articles tagged stablecoin in our archives.