Stablecoin Studio, an open source SDK, now available on the Hedera network, enabling any organization to easily build stablecoin applications

what is a stablecoin

Stablecoins are a great method of payment for work and services because the value is stable. There are three main categories of stablecoins available to users, all of which peg their units in different what is a stablecoin ways. In the US, the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, led by the Treasury, released a report in November which called on Congress to legislate to regulate stablecoins as banks.

  • In many cases, these allow users to take out a loan against a smart contract via locking up collateral, making it more worthwhile to pay off their debt should the stablecoin ever decrease in value.
  • The one-time president of PayPal was the head of the failed stablecoin project at Facebook, now Meta, which was known as Libra and Diem at different points in its short existence.
  • Collateralization means that a stablecoin issuer essentially has enough reserves set aside — U.S. dollars or gold, for example — in case a surge of its customers decide to redeem their stablecoins for fiat.
  • Allocating a certain percentage of a portfolio to stablecoins is an effective way to reduce overall risk.
  • Fiat-collateralized stablecoins are usually more centralized than other cryptocurrencies.
  • In addition, to prevent sudden crashes, a user who takes out a loan may be liquidated by the smart contract should their collateral decrease too close to the value of their withdrawal.

It’s a great question, and unfortunately the answer is not yet clear. In some ways, stablecoins could act exactly like electronic money today, to buy goods and services. The most popular cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, are known as free-floating crypto, which behave like a commodity and derive their value from the supply and market demand for the asset. But because ETH’s price is volatile, you’ll need to overcollateralise. That means if you want to borrow 100 stablecoins you’ll probably need at least $150 worth of ETH. You can borrow some stablecoins by using crypto as collateral, which you have to pay back.

Crypto-backed stablecoins

The value of stablecoins of this type is based on the value of the backing currency, which is held by a third-party–regulated financial entity. Fiat-backed stablecoins can be traded on exchanges and are redeemable from the issuer. The stability of the stablecoin is equivalent to the cost of maintaining the backing reserve and the cost of legal compliance, licenses, auditors, and the business infrastructure required by the regulator. For centralized issuers, this desire to make money leads to the controversy surrounding the transparency of reserves, as discussed above. For many, this is the drawback of the centralized model—the fact investors holding such stablecoins are taking on counterparty risk.

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies designed to be protected from the wild volatility that makes it difficult to use digital assets for payments or as a store of value. Experts say the DAI stablecoin is overcollateralised, which means that the value of cryptocurrency assets held in reserves might be greater than the number of DAI stablecoins issued. The theory goes, if you create a currency that is ‘pegged’ or attached to a regular fiat currency like the US dollar or something else with a relatively stable price, it will prevent price swings.

Algorithmic Stablecoins

These dapps let you borrow stablecoins using crypto as collateral. Most importantly, it makes them more viable as an actual currency because they aren’t subject to wild, daily fluctuations in price and are useful for all the things people actually want to use money for. As such, they can enable a number of practical use cases that traditional crypto-assets simply can’t – from insurance and loans, to payments and investments. This means they maintain a steady value against a target price, making stablecoins an attractive proposition for investors as well as providing the much-needed stability for merchants looking to participate in the crypto space. Stablecoins make up just one part of this burgeoning ecosystem, but their influence and adoption is growing rapidly.

Stablecoins are digital assets that track the value of fiat currencies or other assets. For example, you can purchase tokens pegged to the dollar, euro, yen, and even gold and oil. A stablecoin allows the holder to lock in profits and losses and transfer value at a stable price on peer-to-peer blockchain networks. Stablecoins attempt to peg their market value to some external reference, usually a fiat currency. They are more useful than more-volatile cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange. Stablecoins may be pegged to a currency like the U.S. dollar or to the price of a commodity such as gold or use an algorithm to control supply.

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Ideally, a digital asset should have low inflation to maintain its purchasing power. Certainly the wait-and-see approach from regulators has dramatically changed. Don’t blink an eye or you’ll miss a new regulator weighing in or refreshing their position.

what is a stablecoin

Yet because they hew to the value of a single fiat currency, they act as a sort of temporary refuge for investors looking to secure their funds during a bear market. In this way, stablecoins are like blockchain-enabled versions of the dollar. Dai (DAI) is the fourth largest stablecoin by market cap and is pegged to the U.S. dollar on a one-to-one basis. Unlike the three stablecoins mentioned above, DAI is not backed by U.S. dollars but by a combination of various crypto assets. Crypto-collateralized stablecoins are backed by other cryptocurrencies. Because the reserve cryptocurrency may also be prone to high volatility, such stablecoins are overcollateralized—that is, the value of cryptocurrency held in reserves exceeds the value of the stablecoins issued.

Algorithmic Stablecoin

It’s really important to a huge array of industries and categories. How we treat that infrastructure, it needs to be independent of just saying this is a financial regulatory matter. The purpose of this website is solely to display information regarding the products and services available on the App. It is not intended to offer access to any of such products and services. You may obtain access to such products and services on the App. USDC’s stability is built upon its reserve system, where every issued USDC token corresponds to a reserved US dollar.

Tether has consistently stated that it is in fact 100% backed by the US dollar, but when Tether released a breakdown of its reserves in May—for the first time in seven years—it turned out that less than 3% of Tethers were actually backed by cash. Each CACHE is backed by 1g of pure gold held in the vaults stored around the world. Sending CACHE tokens is the equivalent of sending 1g of gold per token since they can be easily redeemed for physical gold at any time. What this means is that a stablecoin pegged to, say, the U.S. dollar on a one-to-one basis should always be equal to $1.

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