Stablecoins were primarily invented to counter the volatility of digital assets in the crypto market since it is backed by assets like fiat currencies and gold. Hence, these crypto-assets are intended to have a stable price as the term suggests. Most stablecoins were usually pegged to the US dollar and have been widely used to buy and sell other digital assets in platforms like exchanges. Also, with their surging popularity, these digital assets have been used for other transactions like lending and borrowing money in a faster and seamless manner.
Stephen McKeon, an associate professor of finance at the University of Oregon referred to these virtual assets as a “medium of exchange” according to a report by CNN. As further stated in the report, the supply of stablecoins from the top ten issuers alone was already $127.8 billion. With the increased confidence of investors in stablecoins, central banks around the world were now considering the possibility of creating their own digital currencies with pioneering countries like China.
With the growing adoption of stablecoins, it is best to know which of these digital assets has the largest market cap. Why? Since they have a stable value, the market cap is an important metric to determine the dominance of a digital asset. It also reflects the confidence of users in the market which translates to the level of trust for a certain asset.
Let’s now start our review of the top ten stablecoins by market cap in 2021.
It was founded by Brock Pierce, Craig Sellars, and Reeve Collins and runs in the Ethereum blockchain. It was initially launched as RealCoin in 2014 and was later rebranded as Tether in November of the same year. It was founded by Brock Pierce, Craig Sellars, and Reeve Collins. USDT (Tether) is pegged to the US dollar with a fixed ratio of 1:1. According to Investopedia, 57% of BTC (bitcoin) transactions in February were done in USDT (Tether). In recent data by Crypto.co, USDT (Tether) has now a market cap of $78,635,192,307. With a huge market cap, it is ranked as number 1 among its kind and number 3 among other major cryptocurrencies like BTC (bitcoin), ETH (ethereum), and BNB (Binance coin)
It is supported by top exchanges like Binance, Kraken, Kucoin, Huobi, Coinmama, and Bitpanda.
In May, major crypto exchange Coinbase has announced in a blog on its website that it will start accepting USDT on its platform. But as further stated in the blog, the platform only supports ERC-20 USDT running on the Ethereum blockchain.
USDC (USD Coin)
A digital stablecoin that is pegged to the United States dollar and runs on the Ethereum, Stellar, Algorand, Solana, Tron, and Hedera Hashgraph system. It was first announced in May 2018 by Circle and was launched in September of 2018. Although Circle has initially claimed that the digital asset was backed by the US dollar, it was later changed to “backed by fully reserved assets” by June 2021 on its website.
It is the most supported stablecoin by most exchanges like Binance, Kraken, Kucoin, Coinbase Pro, Poloniex, Huobi, OKEx, Binance US, Bittrex, and the list goes on. In June, Visa started accepting USDC (USD Coin) as payment on its network.
It is currently ranked as number 2 among stablecoins and number 7 among major cryptocurrencies. USDC (USD Coin) has now a market cap of $39,923,249,419 in data by Crypto.co.
BUSD (Binance USD)
A U.S.-regulated stablecoin, fully backed by U.S. dollars: 1 BUSD = $1.00 USD and offers a faster way to fund your trades. It is also a medium of exchange, store of value, and method of payment across the global crypto ecosystem. Launched on 5 Sep 2019 under the partnership of Paxos and Binance. It was issued as ERC-20 but also supports BEP-2.
BUSD (Binance USD) is supported by leading crypto exchanges like Binance, Binance DEX, Indodax, Uniswap v3, Poloniex, STEX, Wazirx, among others. It occupies the third spot among stablecoins and ranked as number 15 among major cryptocurrencies.
BUSD (Binance USD) has a total market cap of $14,236,375,347 in data by Crypto.co.
It is a decentralized stablecoin running on Ethereum but unlike other stablecoins, it is not backed by US dollars. In order to mint 1 TerraUSD, US$1.00 worth of TerraUSD’s reserve asset (LUNA) must be burned. Do Kwon and Daniel Shin founded Terra (LUNA) in April 2019 and in September 2020, TerraUSD was launched on Bittrex Global. It was created to provide scalability issues with leading stablecoins like DAI (Dai).
Exchanges that support UST (TerraUSD) include Kucoin, Terraswap, Coinbase Exchange, and Uniswap v3. It is on the fifth spot among other stablecoins and #19 among other cryptocurrencies.
In recent data by Crypto.co, UST (TerraUSD) has a total market cap of $10,479,976,752.
Another stablecoin linked to the dollar and is maintained and regulated by MakerDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization. MakerDAO was founded in 2014 by Danish entrepreneur Rune Christensen. In December 2017, Dai was officially launched on the Ethereum network.
The stablecoin is also supported by well-known exchanges like Kraken, Coinbase, Bitfinex, Binance, ProBit, Gate.io, Hotbit, and Bittrex. Ranked as #4 among its kind and #22 among other cryptocurrencies.
DAI (Dai) has now a market cap of $9,009,127,775 with a 24-hr trading volume of $358,440,992.
A stablecoin pegged to the US dollar. It is the first asset token created on the TrustToken Platform. It also provides users with regular attestations of escrowed balances, full collateral, and legal protection against the misappropriation of the underlying USD. It was founded in 2018 by Danny An, Rafael Cosman, Tory Reiss, and Stephen Kade.
TUSD (TrueUSD) is now supported by more than 70 exchanges which include Binance, Bittrex, Okex, Huobi, and ZT. Currently ranked as #6 among its kind and #79 among other digital assets in the market.
TUSD (TrueUSD) has a total market cap of $1,328,580,805 in data by Crypto.co. and with a circulating supply of 1,325,046,464 TUSD.
USDP (Pax Dollar)
It s a stablecoin that allows any user to exchange U.S. dollars for the Pax Dollar Tokens and is backed by the USD in accounts that are held by the company at the U.S. depository institutions. Formerly known as PAX (Paxos Standard), it was later renamed Pax Dollar in August 2021. Launched in September 2018 and one of the industry’s first regulated stablecoins, tied to the U.S. dollar such that 1 PAX = 1 USD.
It is supported by leading crypto exchanges like Binance, VCC Exchange, Digifinex, Bittrex, Bithumb Global, and 1inch Exchange. It occupies #7 among stablecoins and #91 among cryptocurrencies.
In data by Crypto.co, USDP (Pax Dollar) has a market cap of $1,047,392,754 with a circulating supply of 1,043,257,201 USDP.
USDN (Neutrino USD)
An algorithmic stablecoin pegged to the US dollar (1 USDN = $1). Its price stability is regulated by the Neutrino Protocol algorithm and backed by WAVES held in the smart contract. All transactions involving USDN are transparent and governed by a smart contract.
Leading crypto exchanges that support USDN (Neutrino USD) include KuCoin, MEXC, Uniswap (V2), Hotbit, and Bittrex. Ranked as #8 among stablecoins and #132 among other virtual assets in the market.
USDN (Neutrino USD) market cap is now at $538,023,997 in recent data by Crypto.co and with a circulating supply of 540,861,620 USDN.
FEI (Fei USD)
An algorithmic stablecoin for DeFi and is based on a novel kind of stablecoin mechanism called direct incentives. It aims to be more capital efficient, features a fair distribution, and be fully decentralized. The protocol uses the value it controls to maintain liquid secondary markets. The decentralized stablecoin platform Fei was launched on March 31, 2021. Santoro is the founder of Fei Protocol and the CEO of Fei Labs.
Currently, ZT, Gate.io, BKEX, Uniswap (V3), and MEXC support FEI (Fei USD) along with other exchanges. Occupies the #10 spot among stablecoins and #146 among other virtual assets. FEI (Fei USD) has a total market cap of $749,230,812 in data by Crypto.co.
RSR (Reserve Rights)
Created in 2019, Reserve Rights is a protocol for buying, holding, and spending digital U.S. dollars. Its main goal is to provide a stable platform for transactions in countries at risk of hyperinflation. It also currently maintains excellent liquidity on many leading exchanges and platforms. The dual-token stablecoin platform was launched in May 2019 after a successful initial exchange offering (IEO) on the Huobi Prime platform.
Top exchanges that support RSR (Reserve Rights) are Binance, Mandala Exchange, OKEx, CoinTiger, Gate.io, and FTX.#8 among stablecoins and currently #161 among other cryptocurrencies.
In recent data by Crypto.co, RSR (Reserve Rights) has a market cap of $338,535,875 with a circulating supply of 13,157,802,677 RSR.
USDT (Tether), the largest stablecoins has been in the middle of a recent controversy involving its claimed monetary reserves. The stablecoin that is supposedly fully back by US dollars was ordered to pay a $42.5 million fine along with Bitfinex by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). According to a report by Reuter, the company has allegedly made misleading statements and illegal transactions. The report further states that according to the regulatory body, Tether made misleading or untrue statements about whether it held sufficient U.S. dollar reserves to fully back up its U.S. dollar tether token.
Although stablecoins supposedly have stable prices, they are still categorized as crypto assets that remain unregulated and come with risks. With this, due diligence is needed before deciding to buy and use one for whatever means.