Cryptocurrency trading is speculative and your capital is at risk when you trade. We may earn affiliate commissions from some of the products on this page - at no extra cost to you.
Tether's Dominance and Record Profits in the Stablecoin Landscape

As Tether continues to reign supreme in the stablecoin marketplace, earning an astounding $4.52 billion in profit during the first quarter of 2024, it is an opportune moment to delve into the profound importance of this singular stablecoin and the implications of these results for the broader cryptoasset realm.

This analysis is particularly pertinent as the stablecoin space remains under regulatory scrutiny in the United States and other markets. Furthermore, certain trends and market volumes seem contradictory, warranting a deeper examination to extract valuable insights.

Tether: A Profitable Enigma

Widely regarded as one of the more opaque stablecoins, Tether and its USDT token have consistently found themselves in the proverbial hot seat, despite maintaining a leading market position through various market cycles.

This scrutiny has manifested in the form of court cases, multi-million-dollar legal settlements, and the need to engage a new and more widely recognized audit firm. Despite these headlines, which are undoubtedly noteworthy, there are several other trends and themes that crypto investors and advocates should consider.

Tether’s Diverse Profit Drivers

One of the largest contributors to Tether’s record profits, a staggering $3.52 billion, stems from gains on both bitcoin and gold holdings. While the 2024 bull market has seemingly lost some momentum following the long-awaited halving event, bitcoin has still achieved above-average returns in 2024 alone.

Even gold holdings, which have faced persistent criticism from long-time gold bugs like Peter Schiff, who continue to publicly decry crypto and forecast an imminent collapse to $0, have benefited Tether’s spectacular profit performance.

These gains are even more intriguing considering that bitcoin continues to be treated as an asset rather than a medium of exchange, yet by incorporating it into reserve assets, the world’s largest stablecoin continues to benefit.

Additionally, Tether generated $1 billion from operating profits derived from U.S. Treasury holdings. In an interesting development, it appears that higher-for-longer interest rates continue to benefit certain aspects of the cryptoasset space – namely stablecoins – even as non-dollar-denominated cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have experienced headwinds.

Rising Stablecoin Competition

While USDT remains the long-reigning leader of the stablecoin sector, and the record profits earned in Q1 2024 do little to alter this position, the reality is more nuanced than headlines might suggest.

Even though USDT continues to dominate centralized exchanges, with a 69% share of stablecoins on centralized exchanges according to research by DeFiLLama, this dominance is not reflected in transactional volume.

USDC, the stablecoin issued and managed by Circle, has accounted for over 50% of all stablecoin transactions in 2024 and has far exceeded USDT when transaction volume is measured on a weekly or monthly basis.

While ranking far behind USDT in terms of market capitalization and currently issued tokens, there are several reasons for this recovery and surpassing of USDT by USDC, including Circle’s recovery from reputational and operational blows following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, its reputation for transparency and stability, and the April 2024 announcement that Stripe would be re-introducing crypto payments, specifically using USDC.

Stablecoin Legislation: A Critical Need

One of the most important implications of the continued growth and profitability of stablecoins is the importance that should be placed on stablecoin legislation.

With the most recent legislation receiving significant pushback and critiques that the U.S. remains mired in inconsistent regulation that has stalled crypto development since bitcoin achieved mainstream awareness in 2017, the odds of substantive legislation dwindle as the 2024 Presidential election looms closer.

While legislation and regulation are not cure-alls for the ills of the cryptoasset marketplace, they would go a long way toward improving the operating environment for stablecoin issuers and institutions seeking to utilize these instruments.

Clear and concise regulations are direly needed for stablecoins to continue their productive and profitable growth.

As stablecoins continue to make inroads in the marketplace, with some earning record profits, the need for a comprehensive regulatory framework becomes increasingly apparent.

Tether’s dominance and profitability underscore the importance of addressing the nuances and complexities of this burgeoning sector, fostering an environment that promotes innovation while safeguarding the interests of all stakeholders.

Read More: Sui Blockchain Welcomes USDY Stablecoin as Pioneer Dollar Token