For the first time ever, the value transferred on Ethereum has reached parity with that on Bitcoin. The milestone has been attributed to a surge in stablecoin issuance in the first quarter.
Value transfer on Ethereum just reached parity with Bitcoin.
This is a story of the explosion of stablecoins in Q1 2020.
— Ryan Watkins (@RyanWatkins_) April 15, 2020
According to the data, the first quarter of 2020 was the best ever for stablecoins, with issuance surging to US$8 billion [AU$12.7 billion], largely driven by a global flight to safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The charts show that stablecoins added as much market capitalization in Q1 than all of 2019, and they now account for 80% of daily transfer value on Ethereum.
Tether printers were churning out more tokens as its market cap topped $6 billion, pushing USDT as high as third in the coin cap tables.
Glassnode reported that Tether exchange balances have also just hit a new all-time high.
???? $USDT Balance on Exchanges (1d MA) just reached an ATH of 1,661,769,830.684 USDT
Previous ATH of 1,661,209,417.084 USDT was observed on 15 April 2020
— glassnode alerts (@glassnodealerts) April 16, 2020
One theory for increased USDT demand is that Chinese investors are trying to get more exposure to the dollar as their economy contracts.
The news is good for Ethereum, which has become the dominant value transfer layer in the crypto ecosystem.