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Tether lost $7 billion: is it the collapse of stablecoins?


May, 19 2022
watermark Economic news

According to CoinGecko, Tether's turnaround offer has dropped from about $83 billion a week ago to less than $76 billion dollars on Tuesday. Investors withdrew more than $7 billion from this stablecoin after it briefly lost its dollar peg.


As you know, Tether is tied to the dollar – it should always cost $1. But last Thursday, its price dropped to 95 cents amid panic over the collapse of a competing token called Terra USD.


Most stablecoins are backed by fiat reserves, which means that they have enough collateral in case users decide to withdraw their funds from them. However, the new generation of «algorithmic» stablecoins (such as Terra USD or UST) have a dollar peg based on a mathematical code.


The loss of the dollar peg drew attention to the problem of reserves behind Tether. When the reserves data were last released, cash accounted for $4.2 billion. Another $34.5 billion consisted of unidentified Treasury bills with a maturity of less than 2 months, and $24.2 billion of assets accounted for commercial securities.


Experts note that the destabilization of tokens has worried regulators in the United States and Europe. Last week, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned of risks to financial stability if stablecoins continue to grow unchecked. At the same time, she urged lawmakers to adopt laws regulating this sector by the end of 2022.


France is also concerned about the situation in the cryptocurrency market, calling it a «wake-up call» for global regulators. According to the governor of the Bank of France, Francois Villeroy de Gallo, cryptocurrencies can destroy the financial system, especially stablecoins, if they are not regulated. As a result, the European Union plans to subject stablecoins to strict regulatory oversight through new rules known as Crypto Asset Market Regulation or MiCA.


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