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Meet Alleged Stablecoin TerraUSD, Now in a Potential Death Spiral

Let's discuss stablecoins with a spotlight on TerraUSD, allegedly pegged to a US dollar.
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Stablecoin TerraUSD chart  courtesy of CoinMarketCap

Stablecoin TerraUSD chart  courtesy of CoinMarketCap

TerraUSD Not Exactly Stable

Stablecoins are pegged to something, typically $1 but it could be anything. TerraUSD was supposed to be pegged to the US dollar. 

$1 = 1 TerraUSD.

That peg broke hard on Monday. 

Many readers may be wondering what TerraUSD is backed by.

The answer is nothing. Officially, it's backed an algorithm that clearly doesn't work.

Faith Based Algorithm

The algorithm is based on faith and arbitrage. If the price of TerraUSD falls below $1, traders can “burn” the coin in exchange for $1 worth of new units of a cryptocurrency called Luna.

In theory, if either Luna or TerraUSD deviates too far traders will burn one in exchange for the other. 

Also in theory TerraUSD's monetary policy scales nearly without limits, thereby helping DeFi (decentralized finance) projects reach their full potential.

Finally, users can gain passive income using TerraUSD with the Anchor protocol's stable interest rates. Anchor is a lending protocol that promises a 20% return on UST savings. Additional and steady income appears through rewards in PoS chains, which maintain their stability due to commissions and inflation. This nuance will make it possible to form a reliable interest rate.

20% interest. What can possibly go wrong with that?

Theory vs Practice

The chart above shows the difference between theory and practice. 

The comments on CoinMarketCap are more than a bit amusing. 

  • Relax. the algorithm will catch up with the market. your money is safe
  • Buy UST with any other stable and take a profit from the difference tomorrow everything will be 1:1
  • $LUNA wow! never expected $UST to do this, Terra luna going down HARD! still when the bear market is over everything will work itself out & I really think this will be the project that will come out on top and be in the top 5.
  • $UST arbitrage opportunity of a life time. imagine buying the dollar at a 20 percent discount

Here's one comment that actually made sense: "Which idiot thought that stablecoins backed by anything other than USD was a good idea?"

Emergency Loan 

Please note Terra Stablecoin Peg Slips Below $0.70—Despite Loan From Bitcoin Reserves

Terra's UST, the third-largest stablecoin by market cap, dropped to $0.69 in Monday trading, an all-time low according to CoinMarketCap data, even after the Terra-supporting Luna Foundation Guard rushed a $1.5 billion loan to shore up the currency. On Coinbase, the listed price got as low as $0.65.

Luna Foundation Guard (LFG), co-founded by Terra co-creator Do Kwon, wasn't so certain that [the algorithm] would work, given the larger crypto market meltdown that's been taking place over the last five days, which has seen the crypto market cap swing from $1.8 trillion to $1.4 trillion.

So, over the weekend it decided to make use of a backstop strategy it's been pursuing over the past few months. As of May 3, LFG had stockpiled nearly $4 billion worth of Bitcoin, Avalanche, UST, and LUNA for its reserves that it could fall back on in case the algorithm stopped working.

As the stablecoin's price peg slipped to $0.985 this weekend, it voted to lend out $750 million in Bitcoin and $750 million in UST to "proactively defend the stability of the $UST peg & broader Terra economy, especially under volatility and the uncertainty of macro conditions in legacy markets."

The whole point of maintaining a reserve of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies was for precisely this moment

Reserve? What Reserve?

This has me shaking my head. 

How is a loan supposed to shore up an algorithm? 

Doesn't the loan have to be paid back? 

Steady Lads

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Why Sell?

Entire Thread

I posted the more interesting portions of what @jonwu_ had to say. Here's the Entire Thread for interested parties. 

Luna Price

Terra Price courtesy of Coinbase

Terra Price courtesy of Coinbase

Somehow I suspect Terra has a date with something close to $0.00.

Good Luck Cashing Out

Fellow Binancians

As Bitcoin Breaks Support, Bulls and Bears Pretend to Know the Unknowable

Yesterday I commented As Bitcoin Breaks Support, Bulls and Bears Pretend to Know the Unknowable

Bitcoin bounced off support near $30,000 and is $31,373 as of 12:37 AM central. This will autopost at 8:30 AM so the price may be anything by then.

 If the Nasdaq bounces, Bitcoin is likely to as well.  

What About Tether?

Tether is another stablecoin that many, including me, think is fraud. For discussion, please see Interested in Crypto? Please Read the Best Crypto Interview in History

Grant Williams leads an interesting round table discussion with key questions about fraud allegations surrounding Bitcoin and cryptos in general.

This post originated at MishTalk.Com.

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