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Visa: Circle Surpasses Tether in Stablecoin Transaction Race

Circle’s USDC coin has begun to exceed Tether in terms of stablecoin transaction volume.

That’s according to Visa’s new stablecoin transaction metric, created with Allium Labs to “remove potential distortions that can arise from inorganic activity and other artificial inflationary practices,” as the company said on its website.

The findings were reported Monday (April 29) by Bloomberg News, which notes they go against expectations, as Tether is usually seen as the sector’s top stablecoin. It has a 68% share of coins in circulation compared to USDC’s 20%.

According to Visa, USDC saw $456 billion in transaction volume last week compared with $89 billion for Tether’s USDT stablecoin. USDC has also made up half 50% of total transactions since the year began.

Visa’s efforts to track stablecoin transactions comes as governments on both sides of the Atlantic are working to regulate the (typically) dollar-pegged cryptocurrency.

For example, U.K. Economic Secretary Bim Afolami said earlier this month that the British government is preparing legislation for stablecoins and crypto staking, exchange and custody, which could arrive by June or July.

“Once it goes live, a whole host of crypto asset activities, including operating an exchange, taking custody of customers’ assets and other things, will come within the regulatory perimeter for the first time,” Afolami said.

The British government announced plans last fall to bring fiat-backed stablecoins under the purview of the Bank of England, Financial Conduct Authority and Payment Systems Regulator.

This “altogether will aim to minimize potential for customer harm and mitigate the conduct, prudential and financial stability risks arising from those stablecoins, particularly when used for payments,” the government said in its announcement.

That same week saw U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) announce that they have introduced legislation to govern stablecoin use.

The legislation would require stablecoin issuers to maintain one-to-one reserves and ban unbacked, algorithmic stablecoins, as well as impose a ban on “illicit or unauthorized” use of stablecoins by issuers and users. The law would also create state and federal regulatory regimes for stablecoin issuers that uphold “the dual banking system,” the senators said.

It marked the third time the two senators have introduced crypto regulation rules since 2022.