Gemini Dollar Approaches Parity with USD After Rocketing Higher Earlier in Week

The newly launched Gemini Dollar (GUSD) has come back down to earth after its premium over the greenback approached 20% earlier in the week, offering yet another sign that stablecoins are anything but.

GUSD Update

After reaching a high of $1.19 on Tuesday, Gemini’s GUSD token has consolidated at $1.01, according to CoinMarketCap. At current levels, GUSD more or less serves its function as a dollar-pegged stablecoin.

GUSD has a total supply of 1.22 million units but the amount in circulation is unknown. Daily trade volumes amounted to $7 million on Thursday, according to the latest available data.

The sudden upsurge in GUSD followed a large-scale selloff of USDT, another dollar-backed stablecoin. USDT not only lost its peg to the dollar on Monday, it crashed to a low of around $0.89. That was the lowest in 18 months.

Gemini Dollar Overview

As the name implies, GUSD is the native stablecoin of Gemini, a regulated cryptocurrency exchange founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The coin was launched in September after the brothers obtained regulatory approval from the New York Department of Financial Services to issue a dollar-pegged cryptocurrency.

As a stablecoin, GUSD is supposed to be pegged to the U.S. dollar on a one-for-one basis, giving traders access to instant liquidity on the Gemini platform without funding delays. This means every unit of GUSD issued must have a commensurate supply of fiat dollars in a Gemini bank account. This gives Gemini the discretion to release more GUSD tokens as its fiat-currency reserve grows.

Gemini claims to offer the world’s first regulated stablecoin backed by proven reserves at State Street Bank and Trust Company. The company’s focus on regulatory transparency contrasts markedly with other stablecoin projects, which have come under fire for their failure to produce a verifiable audit of their accounts.

Tether’s USDT is the most popular stablecoin in circulation, accounting for more than a fifth of all trade volumes of virtual currency exchanges, according to CoinMarketCap. Tether has been subpoenaed by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) amid allegations it was pumping bitcoin’s price by issuing more tokens than it has in reserves. The company also shares key executives with Bitfinex, the primary exchange accused of facilitating the pump.

Although Tether has avoided legal troubles, it has faced growing suspicion from market players. This came to a head on Monday after USDT lost its peg to the dollar.

It remains to be seen whether GUSD will become a viable alternative to USDT. Its regulatory backing paints a positive picture for the future of stablecoins, but its direct ties to Gemini could limit adoption given the exchange’s relatively small scale. As of Thursday, Gemini was the 43rd largest exchange based on adjusted trade volume.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi