The Eye of Providence on a dollar bill. Image by adrian8_8 via License: Creative Commons

The credit card service provider VISA has published some statistics on stablecoins such as USDT or USDC. In them we find several surprises, three of which we don’t want to withhold from you.

If you want to see VISA’s statistics for yourself, you should visit this website. They are informative and accessible, making them a good addition to other available statistics.

Here we will look at three surprising findings from the statistics and classify and explain them with a skeptical eye.

1. The adjusted volume

Together with blockchain analyst Allium Labs, Visa has developed a methodology to clean the volume and number of stablecoin transactions. We owe the headlines to this method that more than 90% of stablecoin volume is “fake”. Hardly any crypto magazine has missed this template, and if you look at the charts, it actually seems that way at first glance.

For example, on May 13th there was a total volume of $74 billion, of which less than $10 billion remained after the cleanup. On many other days, things looked even worse: on May 9, for example, after the cleanup of around $90 billion, only $8 billion remained. It seems to be common for the cleanup to cap around 90 percent of the volume.

However, things look somewhat better when it comes to the number of transactions. As of May 13, 2.25 million transactions remained out of about 11.1 million. Here the proportion of “fake” transactions appears to be “only” 80 percent. Nevertheless, this metric also puts a damper on the expectation that stablecoins will grow rapidly as a means of payment.

Rightly so? To check this, you have to take a closer look at the method. Visa seeks to remove “potential disruptions” resulting from inorganic activity and other artificial inflating practices. To do this, it filters out two values:

First, only the largest stablecoin transfers count in a transaction. This is intended to remove internal transactions in some smart contract operations.

Second, Visa filters “inorganic users.” As such, it counts accounts that have initiated at least 1,000 transactions in stablecoins or transferred more than $10 million in the last 30 days. By cutting these out, Visa aims to take bot activity and automated transactions from large entities like centralized exchanges off the charts.

Visa apparently tries to identify only “organic users” with this filter. But this method can also be criticized. For example, Austin Campbell, formerly of stablecoin publisher Paxful, complains that Visa is trying to “find a metric for crypto that looks to them like P2P transactions or payments to small traders.” Therefore, Visa is removing the majority of trading, although This naturally has a big influence in crypto and is by no means “fake”. Additionally, if Visa excludes the massive transactions of centralized exchanges, then it removes the activities of financial services providers – like Visa itself.

In other words: The credit card provider would probably filter itself out of the chart.

2. USDC used more than USDT?

The second surprise we find is in the volume: according to the VISA charts, USDC has a higher volume than USDT (Tether).

You would think that it would be clearly different. USDT’s market capitalization of $110 billion is more than three times larger than USDC, and Tether’s daily trading volume of $48 billion is almost ten times that of USD Coin. USDT is clearly the most important and largest stablecoin.

Nevertheless, Visa’s chart – with the adjusted transactions – shows that USDC has processed more transactions in most months since December 2023. For example, in December ’23, USDC represented 145 million out of 260 million transactions. Since then, USDC’s share of all stablecoin transactions has fluctuated between 50 and 60 percent.

The volume of payments becomes even more extreme. Since the beginning of 2024, USDC has accounted for more than 50 percent, in some months even 60 or even 70.

So are the Tether dollars a fake money whose dominance will disappear as soon as you clear the charts? Part of this surprise can be explained by the method of purging: by filtering out the major senders, Visa is presumably filtering out the exchanges and therefore the institutions where USDT is used in dramatically higher volumes. It is clear that USDT is suffering more from the shakeout than USDC.

However, one can raise general doubts about the significance of these statistics. In another chart, Visa shows the number of monthly active wallet addresses. A total of 35 to 48 million addresses are active each month. Of this, 75 to 80 percent is USDT, sometimes even 90 percent.

So the confusing finding is that although USDT is far ahead in terms of money supply, trading volume on exchanges and the number of active addresses – but USDC handles more transactions and more volume. Can this be explained other than by methodological weaknesses?

3. Solana the most important blockchain for stablecoins?

Finally, a third surprise is the blockchains used.

A chart from Visa shows the number of transactions in the last 30 days and the average distribution of their sizes. One would think that Ethereum, as the mother of stablecoins, is ahead here.

But Ethereum actually ranks lower with almost 10 million transactions per month. Tron – where USDT in particular flows – is much higher with 50 million transactions, the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) is slightly higher, and Solana dwarfs all other blockchains with 125 million transactions.

To be fair, it must be admitted that Ethereum, together with the rollups Arbitrum, Base and Optimism as well as the sidechain Polygon, also has around 40 to 50 million transactions. This puts Ethereum in the range of Tron and BSC, meaning four major platforms share the stablecoin cake.

It must also be acknowledged that the volume of transactions is not the same everywhere. On Solana and the Binance Smart Chain, small transactions under $100 or under $1000 make up the lion’s share. On Ethereum and Tron, however, larger transactions seem to occur more frequently.

Nonetheless, this chart shows a clear decentralization of stablecoin activity across the various blockchains. Ethereum has been reduced from the dominant blockchain to a secondary construction site, while blockchains that were insignificant just a few years ago, such as Tron and Solana, are transferring stablecoins like a champ.

If you look at the active addresses per month, the picture shifts slightly again. As expected, Tron is the absolute leader at 40 to 50 percent thanks to its proximity to USDT. Solana, on the other hand, collapses to less than 10 percent, while Ethereum with its sidechains and rollups accounts for more than 20 percent.

So overall we have a somewhat confusing picture. Visa gives us some interesting pieces of the puzzle about the use of stablecoins – but also points out methodological inadequacies.


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