Senior Coin Metrics analyst breaks down everything you need to know about stablecoins

Episode 35 of Season 2 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Nate Maddrey, senior research analyst at Coin Metrics.

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When Bitcoin emerged, its white paper touted a myriad of use cases that had the potential to rock the traditional finance world.

But the idea of using an asset that could severely fluctuate in value as a medium of exchange doesn't quite make sense to some. This, says senior Coin Metrics analyst Nate Maddrey, is why we have stablecoins.

On a previous episode of The Scoop, Martin Chavez said Bitcoin doesn't qualify as money in his book — it's a commodity. On this week's episode, Nate Maddrey breaks down how stablecoins were a reaction to this problem long before they were a trading tool.

"I think it's important to note that stablecoins, they capture all of the benefits or most of the benefits of something like Bitcoin where it's censorship-resistant...but it has that relatively stable price and that unlocks just a whole bunch of new use cases," said Maddrey.


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Tether was the first in 2014, but since then, many others have followed suit. On this week's episode, The Block dives into the history and mechanics of stablecoins with Maddrey leading the way, discussing:

  • The different categories of stablecoins and why most follow a so-called "Tether model"
  • How the Tether controversy happened and why the cloud of concern has somewhat dissipated
  • Why calling them "stablecoins" may be a misnomer depending on what the word "stable" connotes 
  • His take on the growing USDC supply
  • How the stablecoin world will affect the decentralized finance (DeFi) movement

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Aislinn Keely is a reporter on The Block's policy team holding down the legal beat. She covers court decisions, bankruptcies, regulatory actions and other key moments in the legal sphere, putting them in context for the wider crypto industry. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV and helmed Fordham University's student newspaper. Send tips or thoughts on all things policy and legal to or follow her on Twitter for updates @AislinnKeely.