Tether is the dominant stablecoin with an 87% share of total stablecoin market capitalization

Authors: Marcel Kaiser, Philipp Sandner

Last changed: 10th July 2019
Originally posted: 10th July 2019
Data from: 13th April 2019

The market capitalization of the six largest stablecoins. Figure and data provided by the International Token Standardization Association (ITSA) e.V.

You are invited to download this figure and distribute it or use it for your own purposes. This figure is free for use. For reference, please use “(TOKENBASE, 2019)” and “TOKENBASE, version of April 2019, International Token Standardization Association (ITSA), see www.itsa.global” in the footnote.

This diagram is an overview of the market capitalization of the six largest Pegged Payment Tokens (stablecoins) as of 13th April 2019. The by far largest stablecoin is Tether which is pegged to the US-Dollar and has a total market capitalization of over $2.1bn. It was created to avoid high transaction costs and high volatility with less stable payment coins. The second largest stablecoin True USD is pegged to the US-Dollar as well but is just short of a market capitalization of $200m. Dai is also worth mentioning despite its rather small market capitalization of $91m, because it steps out of line here: One Dai represents one US-Dollar, but it is backed by Ethereum instead of real US-Dollars. This allows Dai holders to conduct transactions based on US-Dollar values while not having any fiat currency to cover the stablecoin.

A Pegged Payment Token (EEP21P) is a token whose value is intended to be kept stable over time in order to better fulfill the classic functions of money compared to Unpegged Payment Tokens – therefore they are also called stablecoins. Pegged Payment Tokens exist in various forms: there are fiat-, commodity- or crypto-backed stablecoins but also algorithm-based stablecoin models.

The market capitalization represents the product of the current market value of the respective asset and the supply of units in circulation. Market capitalization can be used to assess the relevance of a token and the value that investors see in that token.

The recent announcement of Facebook’s cryptocurrency “Libra” exemplifies that also bonds can be used to back a stablecoin. Any other asset can be used to stabilize the value of a stablecoin, such as precious metals, industrial commodities, regular stocks or other crypto currencies (e.g., Dai).



About ITSA

The International Token Standardization Association (ITSA) e.V. is a not for profit association of German law that aims at promoting the development and implementation of comprehensive market standards for the identification, classification and analysis of DLT- and blockchain-based cryptographic tokens.


So far various reputable organizations have already committed to join ITSA as associated founding members, reaching from corporates (e.g. Commerzbank’s Main Incubator, Bank Frick, MME, Börse Stuttgart) over associations (e.g. Bundesverband deutscher Banken, the German Investment Funds Association BVI), startups (e.g. Cashlink, solarisBank, CryptoTax, and Ambrosus) and universities (e.g. Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, University of Mainz, TU Munich, Hasso Plattner Institute or UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies in London) to private members (one of the co-creators of the ERC20 standard).


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