EU firm’s head trader explains why euro stablecoins are hard to come by

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A number of popular U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoins exist on the crypto market. Stablecoins based on the euro also exist, but are notably less liquid, according to Zahreddine Touag, co-founder and head of trading at Paris-based market making firm Woorton.

“There’s not any euro stablecoin that is very liquid,” Touag said on Thursday during a Paris Blockchain Week conference panel, noting multiple points of rationale. The most impactful reason: “It’s very costly to do a euro stablecoin,” he noted, adding:

“The primary source of revenue for U.S. dollar coins are the interest rates when you replace the U.S. dollar because you have positive interest rates on the U.S. dollar, while in Europe those are negative, or have been negative for a long time.”

Tether (USDT) has been a prominent stablecoin in the crypto market for several years, despite controversy. The asset ranks as the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market cap on CoinMarketCap, with a valuation of almost $20 billion at time of publication. Other options include USD Coin (USDC) and TrueUSD (TUSD), with market caps in the billions and hundreds of millions respectively.

The few Euro-pegged stablecoins that exist are much less well-known. CoinMarketCap does include a euro-pegged digital asset called Stasis Euro (EURS), but it only holds a valuation of about $37 million.

“The second reason also is that basically Europe is a very very small actor in this market,” Touag said of euro stablecoin difficulties. “Most of the innovation did not come mainly from Europe but we have the big players in the U.S. and in Asia,” he explained.

Touag said that Tether carries significant liquidity and usage compared to the newer and smaller USDC asset. “That’s why even we at Woorton, we use Tether, even if we prefer to use USDC because the flow is there and the clients and the counterparties are there.”

A new euro stablecoin called EURB recently joined the space, hosted on Stellar’s blockchain, unveiled by Bankhaus von der Heydt, or BVDH, a banking giant based in Europe.