1. In 2022, stablecoins settled over $11tn onchain, dwarfing the volumes processed by PayPal ($1.4tn), almost surpassing the payment volume of Visa ($11.6tn), and reaching 14% of the volume settled by ACH and over 1% the volume settled by Fedwire. It is remarkable that in just a few years, a new global money movement rail
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1. In 2022, stablecoins settled over $11tn onchain, dwarfing the volumes processed by PayPal ($1.4tn), almost surpassing the payment volume of Visa ($11.6tn), and reaching 14% of the volume settled by ACH and over 1% the volume settled by Fedwire. It is remarkable that in just a few years, a new global money movement rail can be compared with some of the world’s largest and most important payment systems.
2. Over 25mm blockchain addresses hold over $1 in stablecoins. Of these, ~80%, or close to 20mm addresses, hold between $1 and $100. For a sense of scale, a US bank with 25mm accounts would rank as the 5th largest bank in the US by number of accounts. The massive number of small-dollar stablecoin holdings indicates the potential for stablecoins to provide global financial services to customers underserved by traditional financial institutions.
3. Approximately 5mm blockchain addresses send stablecoins each week. This number provides a very rough proxy for global users regularly interacting with stablecoins. These ~5mm weekly active addresses send ~38mm stablecoin transactions each week, representing an average of over 7 weekly transactions per active address.
4. Stablecoin usage has decoupled from crypto exchange volumes, indicating that significant stablecoin transaction volumes may be driven by non-trading/speculative activity. Since December 2021, centralized exchange volumes are down 64%, and decentralized exchange volumes are down 60%. During this period, stablecoin volumes are down only 11%, and weekly active stablecoin addresses and weekly stablecoin transactions are up over 25%.
5. Of the ~5mm weekly active stablecoin addresses, ~75% transact less than $1k per week, indicating that small/retail users likely represent the majority of stablecoin users.
6. The outstanding supply of stablecoins has grown from less than $3bn five years ago to over $125bn today (after peaking at over $160bn) and has shown resilience to the market downturn with the market cap of stablecoins currently down ~24% from its peak, compared with a ~57% decline for the overall crypto market cap.
7. Less than 1/3rd of stablecoins are held on exchanges. Most are held in externally owned accounts (not exchanges or smart contracts).
8. The majority of stablecoin activity uses Tether (USDT). Tether represents 69% of stablecoin supply, and YTD has accounted for 80% of weekly active addresses, 75% of transactions, and 55% of volumes.
9. Most stablecoin activity occurs on the Tron and BSC blockchains. Year-to-date, the Tron and BSC blockchains collectively account for 77% of weekly active addresses, 75% of transactions, and 41% of volumes.
10. The Ethereum blockchain is used for higher value transactions (on average). Despite accounting for just 6% of active wallets and 3% of transactions, the Ethereum blockchain is home to 55% of stablecoin supply and settles close to 50% of weekly stablecoin $ volume.
These are all from a Bevan Howard report, The Relentless Rise of Stablecoins (requires email).
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