Most of the stablecoin growth comes from tether, which represents almost 90% of the total stablecoin supply. The largest tether markets measured by traded volume are supported by two Asia-based exchanges, Binance and Huobi, according to CoinGecko. Both exchanges support nearly 200 different cryptocurrencies, which makes them attractive platforms for altcoin traders.
Almost every exchange offers the choice to trade assets priced in different quote currencies, usually dollars or bitcoins, which determine the value of alternative cryptocurrencies.
Altcoin traders have historically preferred to use bitcoin or even ether as the currency that prices other tokens. But during the past two years, that trend has shifted significantly. Now they mostly trade against stablecoins.
A growth in trading stablecoin quote pairs coincides with considerable overall growth in total altcoin trading volume, according to data from Nomics. But that growth excludes ether and bitcoin quote pairs, which have mostly stayed below their volume highs made in late 2017. The stability of dollar-backed tokens is a primary advantage over using bitcoin as the quote currency, according to one analyst.
“An upwards trend in appetite for stablecoin-quoted pairs makes perfect sense to me,” said Catherine Coley, CEO of Binance.US. “Before and during the 2017 bull market, you had the bitcoin OGs trading in bitcoin-quoted pairs,” she said.
But the newer generation of traders and investors “think in dollars and trade with stablecoins,” said Coley.
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