Decentralized Exchanges Posted Record $25B Daily Volume as USDC Depegged

The majority of volume took place on Uniswap and Curve as traders hopped out of, and back into, the stablecoin.

AccessTimeIconMar 15, 2023 at 10:42 a.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:10 a.m. UTC

Decentralized crypto exchanges facilitated a record high $25 billion of daily trading volume on Saturday, according to DefiLlama data.

The previous high of $24.3 billion was in May 2021, when bitcoin (BTC) was worth roughly $65,000 and ether (ETH) $4,400.

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  • Trading activity surged on a wave of panic as USD coin (USDC), the second-largest stablecoin, lost its peg to the dollar following a short-lived banking crisis in the U.S.

    The majority of trades took place on decentralized exchange Uniswap, with weekly volume of $31.7 billion. On the Curve protocol, meanwhile, traders rushed to flee USDC – a move that prompted an unbalancing of the protocol's equally weighted stablecoin liquidity pool.

    Circle, the company that issues USDC, calmed concerns by reiterating that every USDC token remained backed by one U.S. dollar, despite having $3 billion in exposure to the troubled Silicon Valley Bank.

    Volume across the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector has remained high in the wake of the depegging with a weekly increase of 255%, according to DefiLlama.

    Traders' confidence in USDC was demonstrated by a surge in on-chain leveraged positions, with $70 million being at risk of liquidation if the stablecoin was to lose its peg again.

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    Oliver Knight

    Oliver Knight is a CoinDesk reporter based between London and Lisbon. He does not own any crypto.