With the market in turmoil, crypto investors are beginning to turn to stablecoins such as USDT and USDC to provide cover from losses. These stablecoins which are pegged to the U.S. dollar have been the obvious winners from the recent crash but it seems that investors are taking it one step further this time around. USDT volume across the Ethereum blockchain shows that investors are ramping up their activities in these stablecoins.
USDT Provides Much-Needed Cover
Through the crypto market downtrend, only a handful of cryptocurrencies have managed to retain their values. They were all stablecoins, and although some of them had lost their peg, the majority had been able to retain and provide some much-needed cover for investors. The sheer amount of volume of USDT being moved by investors on a daily basis is a testament to the fact that investors are converting to stablecoins to weather the bear market.
On May 12th, the volume of Tether USD being transacted on the Ethereum network reached a new all-time high. Data shows that more than $33 billion worth of USDT was moved across the network. This is significantly higher than the $24.5 billion in USDT that was transacted on February 4th, 2021, the previous all-time high.
USDT-U.S. Dollar peg at $0.9990 | Source: USDTUSD on TradingView.com
However, the motives behind both records had been the same; investors getting out of highly volatile digital assets into an asset that offered a measure of stability. These investors did not wish to cash out their digital assets to fiat currencies just yet and assets like USDT or USDC provide the perfect place to park funds while waiting out the bear market.
Ethereum Fees Skyrocket
One thing that investors moving into stablecoins such as USDT has brought with it is increased transaction fees on the Ethereum network. With so much volume being moved across hundreds of thousands of transactions, the network is expectedly congested and as such would have to increase gas fees to be able to process these transactions.
This was the case on May 12th as the network had recorded a large number of transactions. Gas fees on the network for a single USDT transaction were shown to have risen as high as $20 during this one-day period. As many as 182,000 Tether transactions had been carried out in the 24-hour period.
Despite this high demand for the stablecoin though, the market cap has not reflected this. Instead of increasing, it is down by 3.34% in the last 24 hours. Nevertheless, it remains an investor favorite as it is the largest stablecoin in the market.
At the time of writing, one USDT is selling for $0.9988, maintaining a close peg to the U.S. dollar.