Gemini Stablecoin Volume Doubles to Top 10 Exchange Amid Tether Turbulence

When the $ 1 peg of the stablecoin tether (USDT) collapsed on Monday, traders looking for another dollar equivalent that they could easily swap between cryptocurrency exchanges had few other options to turn to.

One of those places was Bibox, the ninth largest exchange by 24-hour adjusted volume, according to CoinMarketCap, which makes up essentially all of its trading – 96 percent at the time of writing – in the Gemini dollar (GUSD), a dollar-pegged alternative to the Rope. (Gemini, the exchange founded by the Winkelvoss twins, doesn’t currently offer trading pairs with their stablecoin.)

According to internal data that Bibox shared with CoinDesk, the trading volume for GUSD pairs on the exchange has roughly doubled in the wake of the tether turbulence.

Bibox’s trading volume in USDT pairs, meanwhile, fell by around 70 percent. “Traders have less incentive to trade USDT as a risk hedging method,” the exchange’s co-founder Aries Wang told CoinDesk.

However, even after this shift, the GUSD volumes pale compared to those of the older and more established tether. Bibox didn’t announce GUSD trading until late September, making it the first exchange to list it, according to Wang.

“I think USDT still has a dominant trading volume among all other stablecoins,” Wang said, noting that USDT volume on the exchange has fallen from a high of $ 50 million while GUSD volume has dropped to one High of $ 2 million has risen.

In fact, the GUSD was only launched a month ago, so the volume surge is starting from a small base. According to CoinMarketCap, six exchanges currently offer live trading in GUSD, only three of which – Bibox, OKEx, and HitBTC – have 24-hour trading volumes in excess of $ 100,000. And OKEx has only been offering trading in GUSD since Tuesday.

However, as CoinDesk previously reported, the demand for non-tethered stablecoins has also caused their dollar pegs to be broken, driving the exchange rate from GUSD to $ 1.09.

Alternatives on the rise

And judging by the recent spate of listings, it appears that USDT’s dominant position is at stake.

Within hours of the Tether break, the exchanges rushed to offer trading in Tether alternatives such as GUSD, Circles USD Coin (USDC), Paxos Standard (PAX), and TrustTokens TrueUSD (TUSD).

The onslaught began with OKEx and FCoin, which announced they would list TUSD, USDC, GUS, and PAX, respectively.

Huobi soon followed suit, saying it would list the same four stablecoins. BitForex said it would list GUSD; announced that it will list PAX; and Bit-Z said it would list all four: USDT, GUSD, USDC, and PAX. BCEX announced the GUSD and PAX trading pairs. An external spokesman for CoinBene told CoinDesk that the exchange will soon be announcing GUSD and PAX listings.

Having weathered the onslaught, Bibox reminded customers that USDT was not their only option.

“What to do now if you hold #USDT?” The exchange tweeted and threw in a “screaming face” emoji just to be on the safe side. “How about you convert it to other #stablecoins like #GUSD?”

Another early adopter of non-tether stablecoins, DigiFinex, has gone further than the others, announcing in mid-September that it would not only list TUSD but also phase out trading in USDT.

“Our goal is to get rid of Tether this year,” DigiFinex co-founder Kiana Shek told CoinDesk. The exchange has since announced the inclusion of PAX and USDC, she added. “We look forward to the day Tether falls and [are] well prepared.”

Tyler Winkelvoss picture via Instagram

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