Share this article If you liked this article share it with your friends.
Expert Verified
12 min read

USDT vs. USDC: Exploring The Key Differences (2024)

Our Editorial Standards

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the fundamental differences between USDC vs USDT across various aspects, including reserve transparency, market cap, and ecosystem support.
  • Explore how swissmoney leverages USDT and USDC to facilitate seamless fiat and crypto transactions.
  • Make an informed decision on which stablecoin aligns with your financial needs for trading, daily transactions, or long-term holdings.

Navigating the choice between USDC and USDT stablecoins is essential in the crypto ecosystem, where each stablecoin offers unique advantages. As reliable bridges to the fiat currency world, understanding their differences is critical to informed decision-making.

Whether you’re well-versed in crypto or just starting, determining which stablecoin — USDC vs USDT — best suits your needs is crucial. Let’s explore their distinct features to help you make the right choice.

What Are Stablecoins and How Do They Work?

Stablecoins like USDC (USD Coin) and USDT (Tether) play a crucial role in the world of cryptocurrencies. They help bridge the gap between the unpredictable nature of digital currencies and the stability of traditional fiat currencies. These coins are designed to maintain a steady value, usually tied one-to-one with a specific fiat currency, such as the US dollar, which is why they’re called “stable.”

USDC is supported and managed by the Centre Consortium, a partnership between Circle and Coinbase, established in 2018. Circle oversees its operations and aims to boost transparency and trust by regularly confirming its financial status.

On the other hand, USDT, introduced by Tether Limited in 2014, is the first and most widely used stablecoin in the cryptocurrency market. Despite facing scrutiny regarding its reserve transparency, USDT remains a key player in the digital asset space.

The main goal of stablecoins like USDC and USDT is to reduce the price volatility commonly seen in other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Maintaining a stable value provides a reliable means for everyday transactions, trading, and storing value, making cryptocurrencies more practical for real-world use.

Essentially, stablecoins act as a digital version of traditional currencies on the blockchain. This makes them an excellent tool for traders seeking to protect themselves from market volatility, individuals seeking to transfer money internationally with minimal fees, and anyone wanting to use cryptocurrencies without worrying about significant value fluctuations.

Advantages of Stablecoins

  • Stability: They offer a stable value, making them ideal for daily transactions and as a hedge against the volatility of other crypto assets.
  • Global Transactions: Facilitate fast and cost-effective international money transfers.
  • Accessibility: Widely accepted across cryptocurrency exchanges and DeFi platforms.
  • Integration: They can be used for payment services and purchases with merchants accepting crypto.
  • Digital Economy Entry: Provide an easy entry point into the digital economy, even for those without access to traditional banking.

Disadvantages of Stablecoins

  • Centralization Risks: Many stablecoins are managed by centralized entities, posing risks of censorship and control.
  • Transparency Issues: Concerns over whether reserve assets fully back the stablecoin.
  • Regulatory Uncertainty: The evolving regulatory landscape could impact stablecoin operations and user access.
  • Limited Earnings: Holding stablecoins typically doesn’t offer investment returns like other volatile crypto assets might.

Types of Stablecoins

Stablecoins come in various forms, each designed to maintain stability through different mechanisms. Understanding the types of stablecoins can help users choose the right one for their needs.

Fiat-backed Stablecoins

Fiat-backed stablecoins, like USDT and USDC, are directly pegged to traditional currencies and maintain a reserve of those currencies (or equivalent assets) to back each token issued. This direct backing by fiat ensures their stable value.

Crypto-backed Stablecoins

Crypto-backed stablecoins are pegged to the value of other cryptocurrencies but are overcollateralized to absorb price fluctuations. Examples include DAI, which maintains its peg through a dynamic system of smart contracts and collateral over its market cap.

What Is Tether (USDT)?

Tether (USDT) is a blockchain-based stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, aiming to combine the flexibility and immediacy of cryptocurrencies with the stable value of the USD.

As one of the first and most widely used stablecoins in the cryptocurrency market, USDT provides a digital alternative to traditional currencies, facilitating stable digital transactions, trading, and hedging against the volatility of other cryptocurrencies.


  • Pegged 1:1 with the US dollar, ensuring a stable value.
  • Widely available across major cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Supports multiple blockchains, including Ethereum, TRON, and Omni.
  • Utilized for trading, payments, and as a safe haven in the volatile crypto market.


  • Provides stability in a market known for its volatility.
  • Enhances liquidity on cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Facilitates quick and cost-effective cross-border transactions.
  • Acts as a bridge between fiat and cryptocurrencies for traders and investors.


  • Has faced scrutiny and controversy regarding the transparency of its reserves.
  • Centralized control by Tether Limited, raising concerns about censorship and security.
  • Limited earning potential, as it is designed to maintain a stable value.

📚Read More: Best Tether (USDT) Wallets

What is USD Coin (USDC)?

USD Coin (USDC) is a fiat-collateralized stablecoin co-founded by Circle and Coinbase under the Centre Consortium. Launched in 2018, USDC aims to provide a stable, transparent, and compliant digital dollar that bridges the gap between traditional finance and the digital economy.

Each USDC token is backed by one US dollar held in reserve, with its operations and reserves regularly audited for additional transparency and trust.


  • Backed 1:1 by US dollars held in reserve.
  • Regularly audited reserves to ensure transparency and trust.
  • Available on multiple blockchain platforms, including Ethereum, Algorand, and Solana.
  • Utilized for trading, DeFi applications, payments, and savings.


  • High level of transparency and regular audits enhance user trust.
  • Backed by major companies in the crypto industry, adding to its credibility.
  • Can be used across various DeFi platforms and applications.
  • Provides a stable medium for transactions and savings within the crypto ecosystem.


  • Relies on the traditional banking system for holding reserves, which could introduce points of failure.
  • Less widely accepted than USDT in terms of market presence and exchange listings.
  • Potential regulatory changes could impact operations and user access.

📚Read More: USDC Wallet

USDT vs. USDC: Comparison

Feature USDT (Tether) USDC (USD Coin)
Issuer Tether Limited Centre Consortium (Circle and Coinbase)
Launch Year 2014 2018
Blockchain Support Ethereum, TRON, Omni, and others Ethereum, Algorand, Solana, Stellar, and others
Transparency & Audits Quarterly assurance opinions; criticized for lack of transparency Monthly attestations by Grant Thornton LLP; highly transparent
Market Cap Higher, making it the most widely used stablecoin Lower than USDT but growing rapidly
Usage Trading, payments, hedging against volatility Trading, DeFi applications, payments, savings
Reserve Backing Claims 1:1 backing by US dollars and equivalents, under scrutiny 1:1 backing by US dollars, with transparent and regular audits
Regulatory Scrutiny Faced legal challenges and scrutiny Less controversial, seen as more compliant
Redemption Process High minimum for direct redemption and fees Lower minimum for direct redemption, more accessible
Global Acceptance Very high, accepted across most platforms High, growing acceptance especially in DeFi

What Are the Key Differences Between USDT And USDC?

When we look at USDT (Tether) and USDC (USD Coin), it’s apparent that these stablecoins offer a steady digital currency tied to the US dollar in the unpredictable world of cryptocurrencies. However, they differ significantly in how transparent, compliant with regulations, and backed they are, influencing their popularity and use within the crypto community.

Transparency and Auditing

USDT has faced criticism for not being transparent about its reserve audits and the controversy surrounding how well it backs the tokens it issues. Despite attempts to improve transparency, Tether’s past has left doubts in parts of the crypto community.

On the flip side, USDC is praised for its commitment to transparency, regularly providing attestations from a respected auditing firm, Grant Thornton LLP. This approach has built trust in USDC among users who value insight into the stablecoin’s reserves.

Regulatory Compliance and Legal Scrutiny

Tether Limited, the creator of USDT, has been dealing with legal challenges and regulatory scrutiny, especially regarding the sufficiency of its reserves. This has resulted in settlements and ongoing debates about its practices.

In contrast, USDC is seen as taking a more proactive stance on regulatory compliance, benefiting from the solid reputations of its founders, Circle and Coinbase, in the crypto industry. This has generally shielded USDC from the controversies that Tether has faced.

Adoption and Ecosystem Support

USDT’s early entry into the market has given it wider acceptance, particularly among exchanges and traders. It is the largest stablecoin by market capitalization and preferred for trading and payments.

USDC, although newer, has gained momentum, especially in the DeFi (Decentralized Finance) ecosystem, thanks to its transparent operations and growing partnerships. While its acceptance grows, it still lags behind USDT in global reach and market cap.

Understanding these differences can help users and investors choose the stablecoin that aligns best with their needs, whether for trading, savings, or participating in the evolving DeFi space.

📚Related: USDT TRC-20 vs. ERC-20

How Stable are Tether (USDT) and USD Coin?

The stability of a stablecoin is crucial because it directly affects how useful it is for everyday transactions, trading, and as a reliable place to store value in the crypto world. Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) both aim to keep their value tied to the US dollar, minimizing any wild swings in their worth.

USDT, being one of the original stablecoins, has generally done well in sticking to its peg to the dollar. Even when facing ups and downs during intense market stress or questions about its reserves, these moments of uncertainty have usually been brief. Tether has typically gotten back on track, proving its stability over time.

In contrast, USD Coin (USDC) has earned a reputation for consistently staying pegged to the US dollar. Transparent and regularly audited reserves back this. The quick recovery of USDC from a de-pegging incident after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in March 2023 highlighted its resilience and effective management of reserves. This incident tested USDC’s stability, and its speedy return to the $1 peg restored user confidence in its stability features.

Both USDT and USDC have shown stability in most market situations, serving as safe havens from the turbulence of other digital assets. However, external factors like regulatory actions, the financial health of their issuers, and market sentiment can influence the stability of any stablecoin. So, while both USDT and USDC provide the stability users look for, the ways they ensure this stability—whether through transparency, regulatory compliance, or reserve management—differ, affecting user preferences.

USDT vs. USDC: Which Is Better?

Choosing between USDT and USDC boils down to individual preferences and requirements.

USDT’s larger market cap and wider acceptance across global exchanges make it a more liquid option, ideal for traders seeking maximum flexibility and accessibility in their transactions. Its extensive integration across the crypto space facilitates easy trading, making it a preferred choice for those heavily involved in the trading ecosystem.

USDC’s strong emphasis on transparency and regulatory compliance makes it a compelling choice for users who prioritize trust and security in their digital asset transactions. Its rigorous reserve auditing process and quick action during crises, such as the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, demonstrate a commitment to maintaining stability and user confidence. For those engaged in DeFi platforms or seeking a stablecoin with a clear, compliant operational framework, USDC may present the better option.

Ultimately, the choice between USDT and USDC should be guided by a user’s specific needs, whether they value the unparalleled liquidity and market presence of USDT or the transparency and regulatory diligence of USDC.

📚Read More: Best USD Coin Wallets

Challenges Associated with USDT and USDC

USDT (Tether) and USDC (USD Coin) face challenges within the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency market. These challenges stem from the broader regulatory environment, which is still in flux and varies significantly across jurisdictions, and the need to maintain unwavering trust in their 1:1 peg to the US dollar amidst the inherent volatility of the crypto space.

Such factors can influence operational dynamics, user confidence, and the ability to innovate while ensuring compliance and stability.

  • Regulatory Uncertainty: Both stablecoins operate in a space increasingly scrutinized by regulators worldwide, which could lead to sudden changes in compliance requirements or operational restrictions.
  • Maintaining the Peg: Persistent market volatility and external financial crises pose a continuous challenge in maintaining a strict 1:1 peg to the US dollar, which is essential for user trust and the utility of the stablecoin.

Risks Associated with USDT and USDC

The use of USDT and USDC, while offering stability and utility within the cryptocurrency market, is not without risks. These risks are often linked to the underlying mechanisms ensuring their dollar peg and the broader market’s perception of their stability and reliability.

  • Reserve Transparency and Liquidity: Questions about the true liquidity and backing of reserves, especially in the case of USDT, can lead to market panic or loss of confidence in the stablecoin.
  • Regulatory Actions: Both USDT and USDC face the risk of being impacted by regulatory decisions, which could limit their use, affect their ability to maintain reserves, or change their legal standing in critical markets.

Which Stablecoin is the Most Secure: USDT or USDC?

In evaluating the security of USDT versus USDC, it becomes apparent that while both aim to offer a stable and secure digital representation of the US dollar, they differ in their approaches to transparency, reserve management, and regulatory engagement.

  • Transparency and Auditing Practices: USDC’s regular and transparent audits by reputable firms offer higher security through visibility into reserve health and compliance.
  • Regulatory Compliance: USDC benefits from Circle’s proactive regulatory engagement and compliance, potentially reducing the risk of sudden regulatory issues that could affect the stablecoin’s operations or user access.

What Are the Alternative Stablecoins That Should Be Considered?

In the vast world of cryptocurrencies, USDT and USDC are well-known stablecoins, but they’re not the only choices for people wanting a stable value for their digital assets. Numerous other stablecoins provide diverse advantages, meeting different needs and preferences within the crypto community.

These alternatives are designed to offer stability, transparency, and practicality, each with its unique way of achieving these objectives. Whether users are interested in stablecoins backed by specific regulatory frameworks, those employing innovative technology, or stablecoins emphasizing decentralization, there are several noteworthy options worth exploring beyond USDT and USDC.

DAI (MakerDAO)

DAI is a decentralized stablecoin that operates on the Ethereum blockchain and is pegged to the US dollar. Unlike USDT and USDC, which are fiat-collateralized, DAI is backed by other cryptocurrencies deposited into smart-contract vaults on the MakerDAO platform. DAI holders’ unique mechanism of over-collateralization and governance provides high transparency and user control.

Paxos Standard (PAX)

Paxos Standard (PAX) is a regulated stablecoin that offers instant transaction capabilities and is backed one-to-one by the US dollar. Issued by Paxos Trust Company, PAX stands out for its strong regulatory framework and commitment to financial transparency. It is designed to combine the stability and reliability of the dollar with the efficiency of blockchain technology.

Binance USD (BUSD)

Binance USD (BUSD) is a stablecoin issued by Binance in partnership with Paxos and is pegged to the US dollar. Approved and regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), BUSD assures users of strict regulatory compliance. It is available on multiple blockchains and offers many use cases, from trading to payments and DeFi applications.

How swissmoney Can Help

Using stablecoins like USDT and USDC requires a platform bridging the gap between the traditional financial systems and the burgeoning cryptocurrency market. swissmoney emerges as a solution, offering a comprehensive suite of services that seamlessly cater to fiat currency and crypto transactions.

By facilitating the management of digital assets alongside traditional currencies, swissmoney provides a secure and efficient environment for users to transact, exchange, and store value. This approach simplifies the user experience and enhances stablecoins’ utility by integrating them into everyday financial activities.

An Easier Way: swissmoney App
An Easier Way: swissmoney App
Fiat or crypto, Android or iOS we promise you the best Swiss quality experience.
Get it now


Throughout this exploration of USDT vs. USDC, we’ve delved into the intricacies that define each stablecoin, its operational frameworks, and its associated challenges and risks.

 The discussion highlighted the importance of understanding the underlying mechanisms, transparency levels, and regulatory standings that differentiate USDT and USDC, guiding users in making informed decisions based on their specific needs and preferences.

In conclusion, as the crypto market evolves, the choice between USDT and USDC will largely depend on individual use cases and the values users prioritize, be it transparency, liquidity, or security.


Which is better, USDT or USDC?

When comparing USDC vs. USDT, both serve as crucial fiat currency stabilizers in the volatile cryptocurrency market. USDT is more widely used and available on many exchanges, good for trading and sending money worldwide. USDC is known for being transparent and following strict rules, giving you peace of mind about your money’s safety. Your choice depends on whether you prefer USDT’s wide use or USDC’s clear rules.

Where can you trade and use USDC and USDT?

Both USDT and USDC are dominant forms of fiat-backed stablecoins, widely accepted across exchanges for trading fiat currencies. You can use USDT and USDC on many crypto platforms, including big exchanges like Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken. They’re used for trading with other cryptos. You can also use them to pay for things, save money, and lend on websites that accept crypto and some shops that take crypto payments.

Is USDT the same as USDC?

Although USDC and USDT represent USD stablecoins, their value is anchored to the underlying fiat currency. However, they’re not the same. USDT and USDC both try to keep their value equal to one US dollar, but different groups manage them, and they follow different rules. They work similarly to digital dollars but have different uses and rules.

Can I send USDT to USDC?

While both are USD stablecoins, direct transfers aren’t supported due to their distinct blockchain architectures. But you can trade USDT for USDC or USDC for USDT on crypto exchanges or using swap services.

📚Related: How to Send Tether (USDT) Between Wallets

Which stablecoin is more secure — USDT or USDC?

When it comes to the security of USD stablecoins, choosing between USDC and USDT involves considering each stablecoin’s approach to reserve transparency and regulatory compliance. USDC is often seen as more secure because its company, Circle, shows how real dollars back every USDC. USDT has tried to be more open too, but some people are still worried because of past issues. So, many think USDC is safer.

Is it cheaper to send USDC or USDT?

The cost to send USDC or USDT transactions can vary, largely depending on the fiat currencies involved and the blockchain used for the transfer. Sometimes, sending them on networks like TRON or Binance Smart Chain is cheaper than on Ethereum. You should check the fees where you’re sending them at that time.

Can I convert USDC to USDT?

Conversion between USDC and USDT allows users to navigate between different fiat-backed stablecoins within this ecosystem. You can switch USDC to USDT and back on many crypto exchanges and through DeFi platforms or swap services. This lets you easily change between them with little cost or delay.

📚Related: How to Convert USDT to USD

Why should I use USDC or USDT instead of USD?

Using USDC or USDT over traditional fiat currency offers unparalleled convenience and efficiency for cross-border digital transactions. USDC and USDT let you easily send, trade, and use money anytime, anywhere, without waiting for bank transfers or paying high fees, especially if sending money internationally. They’re also useful in countries where it’s hard to get US dollars or the local currency isn’t stable. Plus, they work well with online crypto services for more financial choices.

Read More:

Renata Pacheco

Renata is a seasoned financial market expert with over 30 years of experience in journalism and content creation, primarily focusing on the financial market. Throughout her extensive career, she has worked with leading financial institutions such as Citibank Brasil, Fiserv in Latin America, and other notable financial entities, further honing her expertise and credibility in the sector.

For more than six years, Renata has also been writing for the crypto market, collaborating with financial publications in Brazil, the US, and Europe. Her deep understanding and extensive knowledge make her a respected voice in the industry, appreciated for her ability to demystify complex financial concepts and market trends. This skill enables her to make financial insights accessible to a wide audience, from novice investors to seasoned professionals.

Info Icon


Please be advised that the information presented in this article is intended for general informational purposes only. It should not be construed as professional advice from swissmoney. It is important to note that swissmoney does not act as a financial adviser, and individuals are strongly encouraged to seek independent advice from qualified legal, financial, or accounting professionals before making any decisions related to cryptocurrency investments. Furthermore, investing in cryptocurrency assets carries inherent risks, and individuals should be aware that they may potentially lose all of their invested capital.
Get app
We use cookies

swissmoney companies use cookies to provide you with tailored information about our services and to improve the performance of our website and (or) app. If you agree to all cookies used, please click on the "Accept" button. If you wish to change your cookie settings, please click on the "Choose cookies" button, and if you wish to refuse all of these cookies, please click on the "Reject" button. Your cookie preferences will be stored for one year.

Important: Some cookies are essential for the proper functioning of this website. The use of these cookies is based on legitimate interest and therefore consent to their recording is not requested. For more information, see swissmoney Cookie Statement.