USDC vs USDT: Comparing Two Major Stablecoins


The modern crypto market relies heavily on stablecoins, which are blockchain-based tokens designed to maintain a stable value by being pegged to fiat currencies. Among these stablecoins, Tether USD (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) stand out as the two largest and most popular options. While both serve well for short-term trading, it's essential to understand their nuances to decide which one suits your needs for long-term value storage.


Tether USD (USDT) is one of the pioneering stablecoins, introduced in late 2014 by Tether. Its primary goal is to maintain a value as close to $1 as possible. USDT operates on a straightforward model: users send funds to Tether, which then issues an equivalent amount of USDT tokens. Conversely, users can redeem USDT for US dollars at a 1:1 ratio, with Tether claiming to have sufficient reserves to back every USDT in circulation. However, this claim has faced scrutiny from critics.

Most cryptocurrency users interact with USDT indirectly through exchanges, using it as a digital representation of the US dollar. USDT was initially built on the Omni Layer protocol, on top of the Bitcoin blockchain, but it has expanded to other blockchains, including Ethereum, TRON, Solana, and more.


USD Coin (USDC), launched in 2018, is backed by Centre, a consortium co-founded by Circle and Coinbase. It aimed to address concerns about Tether's lack of transparency. USDC mirrors the USDT model, striving to maintain a value close to $1, backed by reserves held by its issuer. Users send US dollars to a USDC issuer, such as Circle, to mint an equivalent amount of USDC tokens, and they can redeem USDC for US dollars at a 1:1 ratio.

USDC differentiates itself through transparency efforts. It publishes monthly attestations by Grant Thornton LLP to demonstrate sufficient reserves for all tokens in circulation. This was a response to USDT's transparency issues, although Tether has made improvements in this area.

USDC initially operated on Ethereum but has expanded to other blockchains like Algorand, Solana, Stellar, and more.

USDT vs. USDC: Considerations

For short-term trading, the choice between USDT and USDC is generally inconsequential. However, for long-term value storage, several factors come into play:

Redemptions: USDC provides more accessible redemption options than USDT. Tether requires a minimum redemption of 100,000 USDT ($100,000) and charges a 150 USDT verification fee, making it less practical for most users. USDC, on the other hand, offers simpler redemption via bank wire with a $100 minimum.

De-Pegging Incidents: Both USDT and USDC have experienced de-pegging incidents where their value temporarily dropped below $1. USDT faced such an incident in 2018, while USDC encountered one in March 2023 due to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. However, USDC quickly recovered.

Longevity: USDT has been in the market since 2014, while USDC was introduced in 2018. USDT's longer history might provide more confidence to some users, but it has also been the subject of controversy and legal battles.

Controversy: USDT has faced criticism over its reserve transparency and its association with Bitfinex. It settled a legal battle with the New York Attorney General's office, agreeing to disclose reserve details and produce regular reports.

Safety: While both stablecoins have their merits, the de-pegging incidents and controversies have raised questions about their reliability. Users are increasingly cautious due to incidents like the Terra ecosystem collapse and the FTX exchange's troubles.

Alternatives: If you seek alternatives to centralized stablecoins, consider overcollateralized crypto-backed stablecoins like DAI, governed by MakerDAO. These offer high transparency but can be vulnerable to extreme market fluctuations. Avoid algorithmic stablecoins not backed by assets, as they carry significant risks.

In conclusion, choosing between USDT and USDC depends on your specific use case, risk tolerance, and priorities. Conduct thorough research and stay informed about the evolving stablecoin landscape, regulatory changes, and market developments when making your choice in the cryptocurrency space.

Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)
Cryptohopper Market Making (Google Ads)

#buttons=(Accept !) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Learn More
Accept !
To Top