USDC has grown much faster than Tether (USDT) in 2021 and it is emerging as the dominant stablecoin on Ethereum thanks to its popularity in DeFi according to Messari.

Research by the analytics firm revealed that the demand for USD Coin has grown so much that it has consumed a large chunk of Tether’s market share this year.

Researcher Ryan Watkins predicted that in the coming weeks, this could result in Tether' share of the stablecoin supply on Ethereum falling below 50%.

He added that over half of the total USDC supply now sits in smart contracts, which is equivalent to around $12.5 billion. Citing data from CoinMetrics, Messari estimates that more than 40% of the stablecoin supply on Ethereum is USDC.

Watkins stated that the Circle stablecoin has now become the preferred dollar-pegged asset staked in smart contracts in DeFi protocols.

“Although this percentage is not as high as DAI, USDC leads by a wide margin in dollar terms and has become the preferred stablecoin in DeFi for now.”

The USDC supply has surged by more than 1,820% since the beginning of 2021 when there was just 1.3 billion circulating. Currently, the supply of the stablecoin is at a record 25 billion according to Circle.

According to the Tether transparency report, there are 62.7 billion USDT in circulation, an increase of around 200% since the beginning of the year. Of that total, 30.9 billion is currently on the Ethereum network, a figure that has been falling with regularity this year as high network fees have hampered transactions.

The researcher reported that DeFi lending protocols MakerDAO, Compound, and Aave are the largest consumers of USDC, holding around 23% of the total supply.

He added that the trend is likely to continue with the pending launch of Compound Treasury, a new product offering 4% interest on USDC to institutions, and initiatives centered on Circle’s DeFi API, a new platform to ease DeFi operations for businesses.

Earlier this week, U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase also announced that it would pay 4% interest on USDC holdings adding further momentum to the stablecoin. 

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