Chief Scientist, Managing Partner at Invector Labs. CTO at IntoTheBlock. Angel Investor, Writer, Boa
Stablecoins are one of the most relevant developments in the crypto ecosystem and one that has been increasingly getting traction. Recently, I presented a session that highlighted some interesting analyses that arise from applying data science methods on stablecoin’s blockchain data. The slide deck and video from the session will be available soon but I thought I share some of the most intriguing data points.
At a high level, stablecoins can be divided in three main categories:
1. Fiat-Backed Stablecoins: This type of stablecoins is typically pegged to a fiat currency or other real world assets. Projects such as Tether or TrueUSD as examples of stablecoins backed by fiat currencies while tokens such as Digix Global represent a commodity backed stablecoin.
2. Crypto-Collateralized Stablecoins: This type of stablecoins are backed by pools of crypto-assets. Typically, crypto-collateralized stablecoins tend to over-collateralized in order to address market volatility. Projects like Maker are notorious examples in this category.
3. Non-Collateralized: This type of stablecoins are not backed by any real-world or cryptocurrency asset, and instead it maintains value by people expecting it will maintain a certain value. The most-common non-collateralized method is seigniorage shares which uses smart contracts that automatically expand and contract the supply of the non-collateralized stablecoin using algorithms to maintain its value. Projects like Carbon are relevant examples of this category.
In the current market, fiat-based stablecoins are the dominant class while projects like Maker have achieved meaningful traction as crypto-collateralized stablecoins. Non-collateralized stablecoins remain highly experimental at this point. Despite the popularity of some of these projects, we know very little about their underlying behavior. Let’s look at some data points about fiat and crypto collateralized stablecoins that might surprise you.
Stablecoins supposed to trade around a fixed value($1) so its strange that people would lost money while trading this asset. IntoTheBlock’s In-Out Money analysis reveals that some investors have bought fiat-backed stablecoins at drastically higher levels than its base price. Let’s look at the following analysis for Tether and TrueUSD.
Despite its increasing popularity, most fiat-backed stablecoin networks are not growing and, in some cases, they are shrinking as its revealed by IntoTheBlock’s Address analysis. The following figures illustrates this phenomenon for Tether and Gemini Dollar.
Large transactions is always a good indicator of the health of a crypto-asset. IntoTheBlock’s Large Transaction analysis reveals that most fiat-backed stablecoins are not seeing a lot of large transaction activity with the exception of Tether as shown in the following figures:
IntoTheBlock’s East-West analysis shows that most fiat-backed stablecoins remain more popular in western countries. A few months ago, Tether saw a tremendous level of adoption in Asia but that was overshadowed by a spike in adoption in western countries. The following figure shows the East-West analysis for Gemini Dollar and Tether.
Even though Tether is by far the most dominant fiat-backed stablecoins, there is plenty of daily activity in other projects in this category. The following figure is the daily transaction graph of TrueUSD generated by IntoTheBlock.
Similarly to fiat-backed stable coins, IntoTheBlock’s In-Out Money analysis for Dai reveals that some investors have acquired the stablecoin at values way above $1.
Contrasting with the shrinking behavior of the networks behind fiat-backed stablecoins, the Dai network has been growing at a very impressive pace as its shown by IntoTheBlock’s Address Stats analysis.
IntoTheBlock’s Large Transaction analysis shows an inconsistent pattern when comes to Dai as shown in the following figure.
In a somewhat surprising note, Dai has seen better levels of adoption in western countries than in Asia. IntoTheBlock’s East-West analysis highlights this pattern.
If you saw TrueUSD’s daily transaction graph was solid, look at IntoTheBlock reveals about Dai’s daily activity.
These are just some of the interesting facts about stablecoins that we have seen by exploring the IntoTheBlock platform. More interesting analysis to come soon.
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