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  • Writer's pictureSarah Dixon

TrueUSD stablecoin depegs and crashes, regulators target stablecoins.

Stablecoins are showing signs of instability as TrueUSD, a large dollar stablecoin with a market cap of $1.9 billion, lost its peg to the dollar and has yet to recover. This comes after the depegging of Terra USD and a minor crash in Tether’s USDT, causing concern among investors who are now seeking safer alternatives. The value of TUSD plummeted to a low of $0.984 during a wave of selling on the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, raising serious concerns about the stablecoin's stability and market confidence. This move resulted in a loss of over $30 million and sparked fears among TUSD holders of further crashes. TrueUSD stablecoin depegs and crashes, regulators target stablecoins.

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Unraveling the Depegging Crisis: TUSD’s Market Turmoil

CoinMarketCap data shows that TUSD is currently trading at $0.988, representing a 1.3% drop from its intended $1 peg. This deviation from its pegged value has raised concerns among investors and analysts about the stability of TUSD, particularly after the relocation of TUSD operations to the Bahamas in September, which has called into question the impact of US regulations.

Binance as the Battleground: Analyzing the Sell-off Frenzy

The TUSD depegging event was centered around Binance, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Within 24 hours, a significant $339.2 million worth of TUSD was sold on the platform, while buy orders lagged behind by $42.3 million. This substantial net outflow from Binance indicates a diminishing faith in TUSD's stability. Adding to the complexity, reports on January 10th suggested that TrueUSD was facing challenges in providing real-time attestations of its reserves. This revelation raised concerns that the stablecoin could be undercollateralized, posing a critical threat to investor trust.

Exchange Discrepancies and Missed Arbitrage: A Puzzle in the Market

An interesting aspect of this crisis was the significant price difference of TUSD across various exchanges. TUSD was trading at nearly 8% below its peg on Poloniex, while it hovered around $0.99 on Binance. This price disparity raised questions as these discrepancies usually even out quickly as arbitrage traders take advantage of them. It suggests that investors were concerned about potential liquidity issues, especially with recent reports of withdrawal challenges on Poloniex. The fallout from this incident could raise doubts about Poloniex’s future in the US market as regulators increasingly focus on unstable stablecoin operations following the Paxos lawsuits.

The MANTA Factor: Binance’s Initiative and Its Impact on TUSD

Market analysts speculate that TUSD’s exclusion from Binance’s Manta launch pool initiative may have contributed to the sell-off. The project enables users to stake tokens and earn MANTA, the native token for an advanced zero-knowledge layer 2 network.

BNB and FDUSD were favored for the MANTA project, while TUSD seemed to have fallen out of favor, resulting in its price declining to $0.985 during the mass sell-off.

In response to the market upheaval, TrueUSD issued a statement addressing the impact of recent community mining activities and arbitrage opportunities. The statement reiterated TrueUSD's commitment to enhancing its services and clarified that reserve attestations were proceeding as normal, in an effort to alleviate concerns about potential undercollateralization.

Regulators Take Aim at Stablecoins

Jeremy Allaire, CEO of USDC-maker Circle, is optimistic about the possibility of the US passing stablecoin legislation this year. Lawmakers have expressed concerns about consumer protections in the stablecoin market, especially after the crash of Terra USD. The Clarity for Payment Stablecoins Act is a bill aimed at adding consumer protections for stablecoins by treating them as traditional financial services. It is currently awaiting approval by the House of Representatives.

The Bottom Line: TUSD’s Path Ahead

This depegging event is a significant moment for TrueUSD and serves as an important cautionary tale in the stablecoin sector. It underscores the challenges faced by stablecoins in maintaining their pegs and highlights the importance of transparency and trust in the crypto market. As TrueUSD navigates through this crisis, its actions and the market’s response will be closely monitored, potentially setting a precedent for how similar situations are handled in the future. The road ahead for TUSD, amidst these turbulent market conditions, will be a critical test of its resilience and the trust placed in it by the crypto community. Perhaps regulators and lawmakers will take notice of the potential danger of improper stablecoin issuance and fix the problem from the top down, but until then, we will have to scrutinize them ourselves.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.


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