Cryptocurrencies and increased volatility are almost synonymous. The digital coins market can easily fall or grow up in price by 10% -15% in a day. But along with unstable coins in the industry there are also so-called stablecoins, which will be discussed in this article.
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The main idea of cryptocurrencies is creation of the absolutely decentralized payment instrument, which will not have any relations with usual valuable assets. But at this stage of cryptocurrencies development it is not possible to completely abandon fiat yet. In any case, currency of digital coins is counted in dollars, euros and other fiat currencies for convenience.
In order to popularize cryptocurrencies, it is necessary to create a bridge between traditional and digital financial sectors. Therefore, in 2015, for the first time, the best qualities of cryptocurrency and fiat money were combined, and so the stablecoins appeared.
The first stable cryptocurrency was Tether, it is still the most popular stable digital coin. Tether is backed up by the US dollar. This coin takes 8th place in the global Coinmarketcap rating , with total capitalization almost $2.5 billion.
But it is worth noting, that there are already enough of such stablecoins on the market. Each of them is reinforced by a certain physical asset:
- other fiat currencies (the euro, the pound, the yen, etc.);
- the gold and other precious metals;
- the minerals;
- the property;
It is only beginning, since it is already obvious that a digital coin can be pegged to absolutely any physical product. Thus, it is possible to maximally protect assets from cryptocurrency volatility, and at the same time to enjoy all the benefits of decentralization.
So, as it was mentioned before, the very first stable USD Coin was Tether. Its rate is backed up 1:1 to the US dollar. This project was started in 2015. Literally a year later, its euro equivalent EURT was represented to wide audience. After some time, the Japanese yen cryptocurrency appeared. As many analysts had suggested, these two coins were not widely spread.
At the beginning of 2016, DigixDAO coin was started, its rate was pegged to the gold: 1 token equals the cost of 1 gram of gold. It should be noted, that there were quite many projects, which tried to peg their coins to the gold (OneGram, GoldMint, HelloGold, AutumCoin, etc.). The silver was not forgotten either (EthereumLink, Silvercoin, Silver Back Coin, etc.). In Israel, the group of developers released stablecoin Carat, the currency of which, as the name implies, was pegged to the diamonds.
As you might have guessed, there is a huge amount of coins on the market, which are somehow backed up by physical assets, but let’s take a closer look at two more sensational dollar projects.
Gemini Dollar is the world’s first regulated stable digital coin, which is pegged to the US dollar. This project is still too young and it is not clear how it will show itself in future. Now the coin took a 1723th place in the global Coinmarketcap rating.
TrustToken is another project whose developers want to connect real and digital economy. They themselves estimate it in 256 trillion dollars. Within of this platform, the TrueUSD token was issued, it`s rate was pegged to the US dollar. Soon the developers promise to release tokens, which will be pegged to other popular fiat currencies. On the one hand, this project has many advantages (ability to implement blockchain into real sectors of economy, introduction of smart contracts, strong team), and on the other hand, there are many disadvantages (lack of roadmap, centralization, possible vulnerabilities of smart contracts, etc. ).
First of all, let`s list the main advantages of stablecoins, there are quite a lot of them:
- Holders of such coins can use all benefits of the digital economy, and at the same time be relatively calm about their capital`s safety. As a rule, cryptocurrency exchanges do not work with fiat currencies. And with stablecoins help it is possible to operate with dollar (or any other currency) right on an exchange. It substantially simplifies a digital coins trading process.
- Thus people, who have no confidence in banks, can secure their capital without contact with traditional financial structures.
- Stablecoins can be effectively used in trade and business, because their price does not change with time. A seller can safely accept $1,000 in coin equivalent, since its value will not fall down, even in conditions of market fluctuations.
Unfortunately, stablecoins are not without flaws, and now let’s take a closer look at them:
- Such coins are absolutely useless as an investment asset. After all, 1,000 coins purchased for 1,000 dollars today, will cost the same 1,000 dollars in a few years (and it is, at best, if the project does not close).
- Pegging to the value of a particular physical product does not protect against fluctuation of the asset itself.
- There is a risk of freezing company’s reserve accounts, which will lead to impossibility of fulfilling debt obligations to tokens holders.
- Stablecoins can be stolen at once in two ways (digital and physical).
- Storing of a physical asset entails additional expenses, which often fall on its owner’s shoulders.
Because of several factors, today stablecoins are only a good concept, which is still far from widespread use. To a large extent, this direction has good prospects in future. Financial transactions which will be made through stable cryptocurrencies, will be able to bring the real economy to a qualitatively new level. With their help, bureaucratic procedures can be avoided, and due to smart contract technology, it will be possible to do without intermediaries.
The stablecoins are digital coins, whose currency is not exposed to increased volatility, because it is pegged to the value of a certain physical asset. With such coins it is possible to connect real and digital economy. But at this point, stablecoins have a number of problems which need to be solved, only after that it will be possible to talk about their widespread use.
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