Coinbase, the second-largest crypto exchange, announced that it is adding Euro Coin Stablecoin (EUROC), pegged to the euro exchange rate and backed by the same currency in accounts managed by the exchange’s issuing partner, Circle, to its trading pairs.
Coinbase’s announcement coincided with a series of problems with its rival exchange, Binance, and its own stablecoin. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) banned Paxos, the issuer of the Binance Coin Stablecoin (BUSD), from issuing new coins, which created a notable resonance in the market due to the fact that BUSD was one of the top three stablecoins whose rate is tied to the price of the American dollar.
In a number of publications and interviews with business publications, both the head of Binance Changpeng Zhao and other representatives of the largest cryptocurrency exchange said that what was happening led to the final break with Paxos, BUSD itself should be perceived only as Binance product, and the exchange is already looking for a replacement of their “own” stablecoin among those that are presented in the market. In an interview, Zhao stressed that “the landscape of the stablecoin market is changing” and that he is also looking at stablecoins backed by currencies other than the dollar.
Speaking to Forbes reporters, Binance’s chief strategist, Patrick Hillmann, was already speaking directly about the impending demise of BUSD, which he said had been “effectively destroyed by U.S. regulators.” Hillmann also said that several private and public organizations have expressed interest in working with Binance on a similar initiative. Without revealing details, he hinted that there are “very interesting offers, especially in Europe and the Middle East.”
In the current market conditions, such a scenario looks challenging. Today, almost all known cryptocurrencies are still tied to the U.S. dollar. The largest “non-dollar” stablecoin is Euro Tether (EURT), with a market capitalization of $218 million, which is much lower than the capitalization of BUSD, which exceeds $11 billion even after the prohibition of new coins and the mass outflow of billions of dollars from the asset.
As history shows, the dollar has not always dominated cryptocurrency exchanges as an underlying asset. After one of the first major bull cycles in the crypto market in late 2013, yuan trading volumes on crypto exchanges exceeded dollar trading volumes, and before the ban on cryptocurrency trading in China, local exchanges were leading in trading volumes until government policies forced them to find other jurisdictions to continue to operate. At the time, it was considered acceptable for traders, including European-speaking traders, to use the Chinese currency as a base when trading bitcoin or other then-current cryptocurrencies.
According to crypto analyst Viktor Pershikov, the spread of stablecoins tied to other currencies depends on two factors: the demand for these currencies from market participants and the reaction of regulators to such assets. After the precedent of dollar stablecoins and the SEC, this could happen in other cases as well. For example, the