Stablecoins are winning in the realm of payments, and are largely used for non-speculative activity. Stablecoin payment adoption continued to thrive last year despite massive capital outflows from the crypto market at large, according to a new report from European hedge fund manager Brevan Howard. The fund’s report — co-authored by Venture Co-Head Peter Johnson and quant analyst Sai Nimmagadda — analyzed “non-speculative stablecoin usage” across a range of blockchains and layer 2 networks.
Blockchains included Ethereum Tron, Binance Smart Chain (BSC), Polygon, Optimism, Arbitrum, Fantom, and Avalanche. The stablecoins analyzed included USDT, USDC, BUSD, and TUSD — all of which are backed by bank deposits, US Treasuries, and other highly liquid cash equivalents. Usage of such tokens, it noted, “has decoupled from crypto exchange volumes.” Since December 2021, stablecoin volumes only fell 11%, and weekly stablecoin transactions rose by 25%, while broader CEX and DEX volumes fell 64% and 60%, respectively. The total value settled through stablecoins last year approached that of card payment giant Visa’s $11.6 trillion figure and dwarfed PayPal’s $1.4 trillion figure. PayPal has now launched its own stablecoin, PYUSD, which it seeks to popularize for low-cost merchant payments worldwide.