Blockfer’s extensive Tether (USDT) vs USD Coin (USDC) comparison takes an in-depth look at each stablecoin’s respective liquidity, available interest and lending products, issuance transparency, and much more.

Find out which stablecoin best suits your needs below.

Key Comparison Highlights

TetherUSD Coin
Blockfer Rating5.0/109.5/10
Regulated & LicensedNoYes
Frequent & Public AuditsNoYes
Available LoansYesYes
Available Interest ProductsYesYes

The Facts: Tether (USDT) vs USD Coin (USDC)

Tether

Tether (USDT) is issued by Tether Holdings, a subsidiary of iFinex (also the parent company of Bitfinex) and is the largest stablecoin by both market cap and trading volume.

High profile lawsuits, a major security breach, and questions surrounding whether the stablecoin is actually backed in full by USD have all contributed to the controversy surrounding Tether and it’s parent company.

Tether began circulating in 2014 and maintained a borderline monopoly on the stablecoin market until 2017, when more transparent stablecoins became available.

USD Coin

USD Coin (USDC) is issued and maintained by Circle, Ltd and is the official stablecoin of Coinbase. The company has taken a far more regulatory friendly approach compared to Tether Holdings, having secured the required licensing to operate in respective jurisdictions.

Circle, Ltd verifies that USD Coin (USDC) is fully backed by US Dollars in segregated bank accounts by issuing a publicly available monthly audit report.

USDC began circulating in 2017 and has seen a steady increase in transactional volume and user adoption. The stablecoin is currently the second largest by market cap and trading volume.

Winner : USD Coin (USDC)

Features Comparison: Tether (USDT) vs USD Coin (USDC)

TetherUSD Coin
TickerUSDTUSDC
Current Price$1.00$1.00
24H Volume$22,027,757,062.30$297,227,387.97
Market Cap$16,571,961,844.00$2,768,394,061.00
Circulating Supply16,538,561,5582,769,760,800
Market Rank312
Collateral TypeFiat-BackedFiat-Backed
Base CurrencyUSDUSD
ExchangesKucoin, Bitfinex, Binance, Poloniex, OKEx, Gate.io, Bittrex Global, Kraken, Huobi Global, Bitmax, Binance US, KyberSwap, HitBTC, Bitcoin.comCoinbase Pro, Binance, Poloniex, Kucoin, Bitfinex, OKEx, Bitmax, Huobi Global, Gate.io, KyberSwap, IDEX, Uniswap, HitBTC, Oasis Trade, Kraken
BlockchainsEthereumEthereum
Hardware WalletsLedger, TrezorLedger, Trezor
Deposit InsuranceNoNo
Audit FrequencyInfrequentMonthly
Minimum Purchase100000100
Minimum Redemption100000100

Liquidity

Liquidity and trading volume is a considerable factor for intermediate, advanced, and enterprise level investors and traders. While we gave the edge to Tether (USDT) in this category, it should be stated that USD Coin (USDC) maintains substantial trading volume and is easily accessible across several major cryptocurrency exchanges.

Tether (USDT)

  • Available on almost every top cryptocurrency exchange.
  • Largest stablecoin by market cap and circulating supply.
  • Highest global trading volumes compared to all other stablecoins.
  • Significant amount of trading pairs across all crypto asset types.

USD Coin (USDC)

  • Available on most cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Second largest stablecoin by market cap and circulating supply.
  • Above average global trading volumes compared to all other stablecoins.
  • Above average amount of trading pairs across all crypto asset types.
Winner : Tether (USDT)

Purchase & Redemption Process

Investors and traders need a secure, efficient, and transparent stablecoin purchase and redemption process. Below we review the factors that make USD Coin (USDC) the clear winner in this section of our comparison.

Tether (USDT)

  • Minimum issuance of $100,000 via Tether Limited.
  • Minimum redemption requirement of $100,000 via Tether Limited.
  • Users are charged a ‘verification fee’ prior to being able to purchase (with fiat) or redeem (for fiat) Tether (USDT).
  • Purchases and redemptions are not available to US residents.
  • Users are limited to one fiat redemption transaction per week.

USD Coin (USDC)

  • Can be purchased via credit card or debit card through Coinbase.
  • Can be purchased via bank account through Coinbase or directly through the issuer, Circle.
  • No minimum redemption requirements when redeemed through Coinbase.
  • No maximum redemption limit when redeemed through Coinbase.
  • Redemptions to bank accounts generally take 1-2 business days.
Winner : USD Coin (USDC)

Available Interest Products

There are no shortage of attractive blockchain finance interest products available for both Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC). Below we dive into the various options for each stablecoin.

Tether (USDT)

  • Users can earn interest on their Tether (USDT) with cryptocurrency exchanges. Products such as Binance Lending and margin funding on Bitfinex are easily accessible.
  • Tether (USDT) interest accounts are supported by several centralized providers including Crypto.com, Nexo, and Celsius Network.
  • Very competitive interest rates when compared to traditional finance.
  • Decentralized interest account providers do not typically support Tether (USDT).

USD Coin (USDC)

  • Users can earn interest on their USD Coin (USDC) balances directly on Coinbase.
  • Flexible USD Coin (USDC) interest accounts are available on several decentralized platforms including Compound and Nuo Network.
  • USD Coin (USDC) interest accounts are supported by several centralized providers including Crypto.com, Nexo, and Celsius Network.
  • Very competitive interest rates when compared to traditional finance.
Winner : USD Coin (USDC)

Available Loans

Many investors, traders, and blockchain focused businesses obtain crypto loans in the form of stablecoins. In this section, we list the different available loan options for Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) and find out which stablecoin comes out on top.

Tether (USDT)

  • Flexible lockup terms available.
  • Receive funds instantly.
  • Competitive APR rates.
  • Low minimum, high maximum loan amounts available.
  • Loans available on centralized crypto lending platforms including Nexo and Celsius Network.
  • Not supported on decentralized finance platforms.
  • No privacy focused loans available.

USD Coin (USDC)

  • Flexible lockup terms available.
  • Receive funds instantly.
  • Global availability.
  • Competitive APR rates.
  • Low minimum, high maximum loan amounts available.
  • Readily available on centralized crypto lending platforms including Nexo, Celsius Network, and more.
  • Available on decentralized finance platforms including Compound, Nuo Network, and dYdX.
  • Privacy focused loans available.
Winner : USD Coin (USDC)

Ease Of Storage (Wallet Compatibility)

Both Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) are ERC20 tokens that transact on the Ethereum blockchain. Storage and wallet compatibility will be the same for each stablecoin given their identical underlying technology.

Tether (USDT)

  • As of 2019, Tether (USDT) is an ERC20 token. Easily stored in cold storage personal hardware wallets for maximum security.

USD Coin (USDC)

  • USD Coin (USDC) is an ERC20 token. Easily stored in cold storage personal hardware wallets such as the Nano Ledger S for maximum security.
Winner : TIE

Trust & Transparency

Below we compare the issuers (parent companies) of Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC). Historical events, regulatory standings, verifiable audits, and more are included as important factors in this category.

Tether (USDT)

  • Tether Holdings does not release publicly verifiable audits showing that the stablecoin is backed 1:1 by USD held in segregated bank accounts.
  • Tether’s systems were hacked and $30M USD was stolen in November of 2017.
  • The NYSAG (New York State Attorney General) filed multiple cases against Bitfinex and Tether Holdings in 2019.
  • Tether’s defense team admitted in court that the stablecoin was in fact only 74% backed by cash and related assets in April of 2019.
  • Tether Holdings migrated Tether (USDT) from its native Omni blockchain to the Ethereum blockchain in 2019. This will provide more transparency with regards to transactions, company wallets, and circulating supply.

USD Coin (USDC)

  • Circle, Ltd. does issue publicly verifiable audits showing that the stablecoin is backed 1:1 by USD held in segregated bank accounts. These reports are available monthly.
  • Circle, Ltd. and the associated USD Coin (USDC) smart contracts have never been hacked or compromised.
  • Circle, Ltd. is fully licensed to offer its services in all operational jurisdictions.
  • All USD Coin (USDC) transactions and ecosystem details (market cap, circulating supply, etc) are publicly verifiable on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • USD Coin (USDC) is the official stablecoin of Coinbase - the most heavily regulated cryptocurrency exchange in the world.
Winner : USD Coin (USDC)

Who Should Use Tether (USDT)? Who Should Use USD Coin (USDC)?

Blockfer does not recommend Tether (USDT) to our audience because the benefits do not outweigh the risks involved. In almost every scenario, users should choose to use USD Coin (USDC).

Recommended USDT Exchange is Binance

  • Experienced traders looking to execute short term trades (when alternative stablecoin trading pairs do not exist).
  • Experienced traders that use advance exchange features like futures trading, and margin funding.

Recommended USDC Exchange is Coinbase

  • Investors looking to earn interest on their stablecoins.
  • Borrowers seeking to obtain a crypto loan in the form of stablecoins.
  • Traders looking to temporarily hedge against market volatility.
  • Traders & investors looking to exchange Bitcoin and other crypto assets to fiat.
  • Traders & investors looking to enter the market with fiat.

Comparison Conclusion

USD Coin (USDC) wins out in every category of our comparison except for liquidity.

We believe Tether’s (USDT) controversial history and lack of transparency creates a high risk / low reward scenario for most traders and investors.

When it comes to interest accounts and exchange lending, crypto loans, and the majority of trading needs, there are limited reasons to use Tether (USDT) vs USD Coin (USDC).

Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) Alternatives

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Methodology: How We Review And Compare

Our mission is to provide the most informative, unbiased, and useful reviews and comparisons possible for products and services in the blockchain finance industry. Assessments are powered by experts with years of relevant experience.

The stablecoins found in this category have been researched extensively by our team as part of the review process. Factors we analyze in our stablecoin reviews and comparisons include: trading volume, listings, purchase and redemption process, issuer trust, collateral type, borrow rates, interest rates, and wallet compatibility.

The Blockfer Promise: We do everything in our power to keep content up to date and in the best interests of our audience. Blockfer does not shy away from poor ratings. Products or services that do not meet our reputability standards will be rated as 'Not Trusted'. Compensation from partners does not, and will never, effect our review process.

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