Stablecoins are an essential part of the crypto world. It protects the traders and investors from market swings. Stablecoins have a pegged value like the U.S Dollar or any other currency. This helps in reducing volatility and works as digital money, which can easily be transferred from one exchange to another.
There are mainly two types of stablecoins available out there – Centralized stablecoins and decentralized stablecoins. Each of them has its own selling points. Hence to help you understand better, let me explain about centralized vs decentralized stablecoins.
So here we go:
A stablecoin is a digital asset that has a fixed price, mostly $1. This helps in removing holders from the swings of the market and offers secure and stable digital money to hold.
As per the definition by Themoneymongers.com “Stablecoins act as a midpoint between holding assets and withdrawing to the fiat currency. Also, they are effectively used for executing cross border payments.”
As their prices are pegged to a reserved asset like the US dollar, they help in reducing volatility compared to crypto coins like Bitcoin.
Now that you know what stablecoins are, it’s time to talk about centralized and decentralized stablecoins.
So here we go:
Centralized stablecoins are usually fiat collateralized off-chain. These stablecoins are usually connected with a third party custodian like a bank.
In centralized stablecoins, stability is achieved via 1:1 backing of tokens liabilities with the corresponding asset.
Some of the top examples of centralized stablecoins is Tether (USDT) and Coinbase (USDC). Apart from these, some of the new additions to the centralized stablecoins are TUSD, PAX, BUSD and GUSD.
These cryptocurrencies are essentially tokenized IOUs deployed onto a blockchain like Ethereum. Centralized stablecoins balance the supply and demand via minting and redemption mechanisms.
Under this model, users can mint stablecoins by depositing the equivalent fiat to the custodian, redeeming or burning the tokenized versions to retrieve fiat back.
Tether is one of the most popular stablecoins available out there. It was launched back in 2014 as RealCoin. Also, the purpose of the coin was always to be worth one US dollar. The supply of the coin is limited by claimed dollar reserves.
It is also the largest stablecoin, and that’s why there was always a pressure on Tether to compile regular reports about its reserve. So it can prove that its value is always going to be the same as the US dollar.
However, the most recent report shows that just about ten percent is held in cash or deposit. Also, half of the USDT’s reserves consisted of ‘commercial paper’. Also, short term debt is issued by companies to raise funds.
TrueUSD or TUSD is another popular coin that had a limited launch back in 2018. The stablecoin claims to conduct regular audits, and it is the first stablecoin which is fully backed by the USD dollar.
The audit of the stablecoin indicates that the supply is limited by the dollars they hold. Also, the daily churn/trade is relatively low.
Also, TUSD allows for DeFi and staking to earn returns from holdings. Plus, the stablecoin is partnering up with a bank for digital payments, and incubating ‘digital asset to DeFi’ projects.
The Gemini Dollar (GUSD) is another popular stablecoin. This one is pegged to and backed by US dollars held in FDIC-insured bank accounts.
The funds of the stablecoins held in reserves are audited from time to time by the accounting firm, BPM LLP. The cryptocurrency was created by the popular crypto exchange Gemini, which was founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss in 2014.
Also, the coin has received approval from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), and it was launched back in 2018.
Decentralized stablecoins are fully transparent and non custodial. No one can control decentralized stablecoins. Also, all collateral backing is visible to all as funds are on a publicly verified blockchain.
This allows the stablecoin to be trustless and secure with a single entity controlling the funds. Also, decentralized stablecoins can be divided into two parts- crypto-collateralized and algorithmic.
The centralized stablecoins are capable of increasing or decreasing their supply manually by minting or burning when needed. On the other hand, the algorithmic stablecoins utilize smart contracts or algorithmic markets operations controllers (AMOs), to automatically control the supply.
According to the MakersDAO’s white paper, Dai is generated, backed and kept stable by the use of Ethereum based currency deposited into MakerDAO’s vaults.
The deposited funds work as collateral whenever a user wants to withdraw their DAI currency. Also, because the cryptocurrencies are worth more than the U.S. dollar, MakerDAO can keep its stable coin pegged loosely to the U.S. dollar at a 1-to-1 ratio.
The theory of this was so good that in September 2018, a venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz invested $15 million in MakerDAO.
EOSDT is a well-known cryptocurrency that operates on the EOS platform. The cryptocurrency has a currency supply of 2,642,505.29330823. It also refers to itself as a dollar pegged currency that leverages underlying EOS and BTC collateral and adds extra liquidity to the market.
Moreover, the coin is highly stable as the stability mechanisms are embedded in smart contracts to maintain a 1:1 parity with USD. Also, the coin is insured by the Equilibrium Stability Fund of 584,408.67 EOS ($ 1,332,451.76).
DeFi dollar is built as a stablecoin. The coin uses the primitives of DeFi to stay close to the Dollar. The coin gives the investors an opportunity to index varying stablecoins in its single token. Also, it protects users from any underlying risks.
Moreover, DUSD is collateralized by the Curve Finance liquidity provider (LP) tokens while also using Chainlink oracles to stabilize itself. Along with that, Curve is used for integrating the lending protocols and swapping tokens. This is another key step that stabilizes the token.
Furthermore, to offer you maximum safety, the token also offers you a staking mechanism. This adds an additional layer of protection to the token.
As the value of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum fluctuates a lot. There is no guarantee how the price of the coin will move. However, on the other hand, stablecoins are pegged to a more stable currency like the U.S. Dollar. This gives buyers and sellers certainty that the value of their holdings will not decrease unpredictably.
There is absolutely no need to have a bank account to hold stablecoins. Also, they are pretty easy to transfer.
The value of stablecoins can be sent easily around the globe, including to places where the U.S. dollar may be hard to obtain or where the local currency is unstable.
Most stablecoins offer you a staking mechanism. This allows you to earn interest easily. Plus, the interest rate is higher than what banks would offer. As a result, stablecoins are considered a good investment instrument.
Transferring stablecoins is pretty cheap. As a result, people have already transferred millions of dollars worth of USDC and other coins with low transfer fees.
Stablecoins has a fast processing time and low transaction fees compared to sending traditional money. As a result, they are a good choice when it comes to sending money anywhere in the world.
So that was all for what are stablecoins, why should you use them and the Centralized vs Decentralized Stablecoins difference. I hope this has answered all your doubts about stablecoins. In case there is anything else you wish to ask, drop a comment below.