Crypto

Here’s everything you need to know about TerraUSD, Tether and other stablecoins

Update on 13 May at 09:49 UTC – Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether and Bitfinex tweeted that Tether has cut some holdings of commercial paper. In the accompanying news article, Ardoino explained that the majority of Tether’s reserves are now in U.S. Treasuries. Tether has reduced its exposure to commercial papers since November.

The crypto winter could be claiming more casualties among the stablecoin camp. The depegging of TerraUSD (UST) on Tuesday triggered market sell-offs, and now Tether (USDT) appears to be losing its footing, having slipped against the U.S. dollar.

The algorithmic stablecoin UST is, as the name implies, algorithmically backed. LUNA, the ecosystem’s corresponding token, has sunk over 95% since Tuesday, while UST continues to languish around the $0.50 mark.

Gist Vile’s resident experts shared their explanations for why UST crashed in a special edition of “The Market Report” yesterday. The plan for Terraform Labs’ algorithmic stablecoin continues to roll out, but UST is still struggling.

Data from Gist Vile Markets Pro confirmed that various stablecoins have shown greater volatility than usual: USDT, the world’s largest stablecoin, traded under $0.99, Gemini Dollar (GUSD) exceeded $1, and USD Coin (USDC) also appreciated.

Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer of Bitfinex and Tether, shed some light on the difference between asset-backed stablecoins and their algorithmic counterparts in a conversation with Scott Melker:

“If you want to do an algorithmic stablecoin, for example, it has to be 300% backed by solid assets, solid crypto assets — not 105%, or 110%, or even less. […] That does not make sense.”

Ardoino shared that for UST to work, it would need 3x the investment, or over $50 billion:  

In earlier tweets, Ardoino reminded crypto enthusiasts that “Tether is honoring USDt redemptions at 1$” as he spread calm among the industry. For crypto veterans such as Whale Panda, the distinction between stablecoins is clear cut: the Tether FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) is “peak fud”:

The price of USDT has recovered from its very brief dip to $0.95 this morning, but it still has yet to reach dollar parity. In recent developments, Tether plans to move 1 billion USDT from Tron to Ethereum and Avalanche. This will not change the total supply of Tether, the company said in a tweet. 

Tether dipped to $0.95 at 8:15 am UTC. Source: CoinMarketCap 

Samson Mow, CEO of Jan3 and a hyperbitcoinization pioneer, also rallied the troops behind USDT: 

Related: Ether whales get busy as transactions hit highest point since January

Castle Island Ventures’ Nic Carter made light of the stablecoin saga, joking about a stablecoin event he is set to attend:

USDT has recovered to within two basis points of a dollar at the time of writing. Plus, an article shared by the Tether team explained that they’re “on track to process $2 billion today.” Danger averted.