Circle To Stay Private for Now as Rivals Gain Market Share

Circle currently holds about 31% of the total market share for stablecoins, down from 37% six months ago


Blockworks exclusive art by Axel Rangel


As Circle reevaluates its plans to go public, USD Coin has been quietly losing stablecoin market share to competitors Tether and Binance USD over the past six months. 

Circle currently holds about 31% of the total market share for stablecoins, down from 37% six months ago, according to data compiled by Blockworks Research

Tether currently holds around 47% of stablecoin market share, while Binance has about 16%. Both Tether and Binance have taken over more of the market share in the past six months, with Binance USD gaining around 4.5% and Tether increasing its market share by around 1%. 

“That may be one reason why Circle had been in a rush to go public, if underlying trends below the surface — market share loss vs. overall stablecoin market share as a percent of crypto has been steadily rising — are less positive,” Rich Falk-Wallace, CEO of Arcana Analytics, said. 

The switch-up in market share is in part due to issuer location and how they interact with the broader market, Falk-Wallace said. 

“It’s related to offshore versus onshore market share in that Binance and other offshore centralized exchanges are taking share versus DeFi, which is where USDC has relatively greater exposure,” he added. 

Based on Uniswap trading volumes, which can give a general look into total DeFi activity, DeFi trading volumes are down around 30% more than CeFi trading volumes over the past six months, Falk-Wallace said. 

“Centralized exchanges don’t have huge USDC volumes, [but] some CeFi exchanges have very large Tether volumes,” Falk-Wallace said. “USDC’s low use in centralized exchanges may be because it is owned by a JV with Coinbase, so there’s a competitive angle to Binance, for example, not using USDC, versus Binance’s very large BTC-USDT and BTC-BUSD markets, which trade around $2 billion to $4 billion per day.” 

Binance recently transitioned stablecoin balances held on the exchange to BUSD as a default and allows withdrawals of various stablecoins across multiple blockchain networks.

USDC is expanding to more networks but for now remains concentrated on Ethereum, where about 77% of the circulating supply is held compared to 40% of the USDT supply. Around 46% of USDT is held on the layer-1 chain Tron, Falk-Wallace said, with the network serving as a low-cost conduit to sling tether back and forth between exchanges.

“Ethereum total value locked has declined meaningfully, while Tron total value locked has actually done well,” he added. Total value locked (TVL) on Ethereum has declined by roughly 75% over the past year, although still six times larger than Tron’s TVL which has remained range bound between about $4 billion and $6 billion according to DeFi Llama

On a backdrop of declining market share, Circle, which announced it was killing its SPAC plans on Monday, said it is still determined to become a publicly traded company in the future. The third quarter of 2022 marked the company’s first profitable quarter, the issuer also said. 

“We are disappointed the proposed transaction timed out, however, becoming a public company remains part of Circle’s core strategy to enhance trust and transparency, which has never been more important,” Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire said in a statement.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

MON - WED, MARCH 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience:  Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats  Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts   Grow your network […]

recent research

Pyth Cover.jpg


Pyth is a low latency pull-based oracle. In a future that looks increasingly high frequency, with various alt L1s and L2s that have significantly shorter block times than Ethereum, and an explosion of “high-frequency” protocols such as oracle or CLOB perp DEXs, Pyth’s low latency oracle product looks much better positioned to capture a significant amount of market share in comparison to competitors.


Can an ERC-20 token fix science? Coinbase’s Brian Armstrong hopes so


Roughly $65 billion worth of assets remain on Binance after the exchange agreed to pay, forfeit $4.3 billion Tuesday, Nansen data shows


The HTX exchange has been hit by a security breach, similar to the recent Poloniex hack


We have the answers for the usual barrage of questions stuffed with preconceived judgments about Web3, crypto and blockchain


NFT data will be integrated into CoinGecko APIs in second quarter of 2024, having bought Zash for an undisclosed sum


Binance and its former CEO have pleaded guilty to federal charges of over $4.3 billion