Stablecoins: Survivorship, Transactions Costs and Exchange Microstructure
46 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2021 Last revised: 28 Feb 2023
Date Written: February 17, 2023
Stable coins are not very stable. Cash collateralized coins are more stable, but the overall failure rate is similar to tokens that are not designed to be stable. USD Coin, Tether and Dai have the largest Ethereum market shares, and they have an average velocity nearly three times higher than M1. Centralized and decentralized exchanges are the most active nodes and largest holders on the blockchain. Four of the top ten tokens have Herfindahl indices higher than the U.S. banking system. Median gas fees for Tether rose more than twelve times over the last two years, and nearly twenty times for USD Coin. Transactions of under $50,000 can generally be done more cheaply off chain. 24 hour exchange turnover in Tether is nearly $60 billion. This is comparable to the daily volume at the NYSE and eight times the daily flow in money market mutual funds. Narrow bid-ask spreads and depth have attracted HFT participation approaching 50%.
Keywords: Stablecoins, transactions, fee, hazard function, market microstructure, cryptocurrency
JEL Classification: G12, G23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation