Terra could leave a similar regulatory legacy to that of Facebook’s Libra


New draft laws on stablecoins within the United States House of Representatives proposed to impose a two-year ban on new algorithmically pegged stablecoins like TerraUSD (UST).

The proposed laws would require the Department of the Treasury to conduct a examine of stablecoins similar to UST in collaboration with the United States Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

An algorithmic stablecoin is a digital asset the worth of which is saved regular by an algorithm. While an algorithmic stablecoin is pegged to the worth of a real-world asset, it’s not backed by one.

The stablecoin invoice has been within the works for a number of months now and has been delayed on quite a few events. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has repeatedly cited the Terra collapse when calling for extra regulation of the crypto area.


The Terra ecosystem failure that started with the depegging of its algorithmic stablecoin UST ultimately worn out the $40 billion ecosystem. This led to a crypto contagion that noticed the crypto market lose almost a trillion {dollars} value of market worth inside a couple of weeks.

Markets have but to recuperate from the contagion, and the Terra collapse undoubtedly forged a shadow on the long run of algorithmic stablecoins and have become a sizzling matter for critics together with sure policymakers who’ve been utilizing it to advocate for stricter insurance policies for cryptocurrencies. The newest draft proposal to put a non permanent ban on such stablecoins is one such instance. Under the present draft of the invoice, it might be unlawful to difficulty or create new “endogenously collateralized stablecoins.”

The draft proposal evoked blended feelings from Crypto Twitter. While some market observers referred to as it a good concept, which might assist keep away from additional such collapses, others believed the Terra fiasco has put the business again by years. Pointing towards the two-year non permanent ban, some implied that though algorithmic stablecoins may not be the wrongdoer, the execution by the Terra crew has forged a shadow on the entire algorithmic stablecoin business. 

Talking in regards to the impression of Terra contagion on the stablecoin regulation, Mriganka Pattnaik, CEO of danger monitoring service supplier Merkle Science, informed Cointelegraph that regulators want to take a broader method than going for a non permanent ban. She believes lumping all algorithmic stablecoins collectively and placing a blanket ban on them will hamper innovation, stating:

“In light of Terra’s collapse and the ripple effect it created, algorithmic stablecoins will need to regain the trust of regulators and consumers alike. The regulators can push for partially collateralized models, set transparency standards, and require the issuers to submit white papers highlighting how their particular stablecoin offering works, its operational structure, mint and burn mechanism and the kind of algorithm they use to maintain the value, the unique risks the offering presents and analyze whether it can have a potential contagion effect on broader financial stability.”

It is vital to perceive that even inside algorithmic stablecoins, there are extra minute categorizations, for instance, rebase, seigniorage and fractional algorithmic stablecoins. Another vertical to think about right here is the actual fact that algorithmic stablecoins are decentralized in nature — due to this fact, it will likely be tougher to implement a ban on them. 

Patnaik added that it’s counterproductive to maintain onto the notion that decentralization and regulatory controls can by no means be in alignment. The most proactive factor stablecoin issuers can do is “come together and propose technical solutions to regulatory problems surrounding algorithmic stablecoins.”

Jay Fraser, director of strategic partnerships at Boston Security Token Exchange, defined how Do Kwon’s motion and advertising and marketing ways have been to be blamed for the unhealthy press algorithmic stablecoins acquired within the aftermath, telling Cointelegraph:

“There’s the issue of how Do Kwon both marketed Terra as well as how he used user funds during and after the collapse. If there were to have been good regulation in place ahead of and during the collapse, part of it would have involved clearer messaging around the risks involved in investing money in untested technology. I think a lot of investors were perhaps not aware of the risks.”

He added that the Terra debacle set a precedent for fellow decentralized finance and crypto buyers to be extra clear and “regulations will be put in place to ensure consumers and investors aren’t affected by poor practices.”

A “Libra moment” for algorithmic stablecoins

The Terra stablecoin challenge considerably remembers the destiny of Facebook’s, now Meta, stablecoin challenge Libra, which was later dubbed Diem. The social media large acquired concerned within the crypto area in 2019 when it introduced its plans to launch a common stablecoin whose adoption would have been elevated by Facebook’s line of social messaging apps and companies together with Instagram and Whatsapp. 

The stablecoin was to be pegged to the worth of a basket of fiat currencies together with the U.S. greenback, the Great British pound, euro, Japanese yen, Singapore greenback and a few short-term belongings usually thought of to be money equivalents.

Facebook registered the challenge in Switzerland and hoped to bypass regulatory oversight from a number of nations, however unsuccessfully. Facebook confronted instant pushback from regulators throughout the globe and founder Mark Zukerberg even confronted a number of Congressional hearings relating to the identical. The identify change to Diem didn’t assist its trigger a lot and the challenge was ultimately shut down by the tip of January 2022.

Like the ill-fated Diem/Libra enterprise, the disintegration of Terra’s $40 billion ecosystems compelled regulators to present curiosity within the nascent business and even compelled a number of regulatory adjustments.

Just as Libra compelled regulators to wake to the fact of personal entities issuing cash within the digital period, Terra has made lawmakers take a nearer take a look at who can difficulty a stablecoin, opening the gates for banks and different monetary establishments to become involved within the nascent crypto market.

Dion Guillaume, international head of communication at crypto alternate platform Gate.io, informed Cointelegraph that Terra was a stress take a look at that could profit the business:

“It was a huge stress test, for sure. However, I think this will eventually work out for the better. For one, crypto users need to know that when someone offers you crazy high yields, something fishy is going on in the background. Plus, projects need to know how to prioritize long-term goals over short-term pleasure. For example, many analysts have pointed out the flaws in Terra’s UST stablecoin creating a capital-efficient, decentralized stablecoin is impossible, yet users continued to use Terra, and projects continued to build on it. Let’s hope the industry learns a lesson from this setback.”

Jason P. Allegrante, chief authorized and compliance officer at Fireblocks, defined that fairly similar to what Diem did for regulators, Terra’s failure has accelerated Congress’s drafting of a promising bipartisan invoice. He informed Cointelegraph:

“We can see in hindsight that it accelerated Congress’ drafting of a very promising bipartisan bill, which will introduce stablecoin legislation, significantly normalizing the industry in the process. Not only is this a direct response to Terra’s collapse, but the impact will be transformative, providing clarity on the regulatory classifications of stablecoins, what quantity and quality they must be reserved in, how they will be backed by other assets and so on.” 

He added that the expertise from the Terra implosion will unleash innovation in true stablecoin merchandise and finally “drive more organizations and individuals to invest in cryptocurrencies and related technologies in the coming years.”

The Terra collapse may need led to a crypto contagion, but it surely created a watershed for the stablecoin business. It has compelled policymakers to take a look at the broader image and discover higher methods to defend shoppers. It has additionally ignited curiosity from policymakers within the distinct and complicated nature of the business and made them notice that a frequent coverage received’t work for the entire business.

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