What are Stablecoins?

The cryptocurrency market is marked by high volatility and fluctuating prices and can sometimes feel like a roller coaster ride. This presents a significant challenge for widespread adoption, especially for everyday transactions and payments. One minute you’re over the moon, the next you’re holding your breath. This instability necessitates a balance where stablecoins step in to even up the odds.

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies themselves. Its value is “pegged” to another currency, most often the U.S. dollar. They are designed as a hedge against crypto market volatility. It can also be used for generating passive income through staking or lending. Since they are supposed to maintain a stable value, experiencing minor fluctuations is not completely out of line. Due to changes in demand or market conditions, stablecoins may shift in value. In general, they aim to maintain a relatively steady value in contrast to traditional cryptocurrencies, which often exhibit considerable price fluctuations.

Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), Euro Coin (EUROC), and Binance Dollar (BUSD) are some of the popular ones in cryptocurrency. You can buy or swap them in the Jackocoins app which can be downloaded here.

Exploring Stablecoins

Digital assets such as stablecoins are designed to maintain a stable value, usually pegged to a fiat currency (USD) or a commodity (Gold). The wild price swings make digital assets like Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc., impractical for daily transactions, remittances, or as a reliable store of value. As a result, they can be used for everyday transactions and provide the much-needed widespread adoption of crypto. In the digital asset space, these coins hold a significant market capitalization, of $160 billion (at the time of writing), facilitating billions of transactions daily.

Stablecoins are fast becoming the go-to for payment of goods and services in various countries and are used as trading pairs in crypto.

The Significance of Price Stability

Without price stability, mass adoption of cryptocurrency would not be achieved. Stablecoins offer the best of both worlds – the benefits of blockchain technology and price stability akin to traditional fiat currencies. The steadiness brought about by these coins also ensures users can trust the digital asset’s value for transactions and as a store of value without the fear of significant price fluctuations common in other crypto-assets. This stability also creates new avenues for real-world use cases and applications within decentralized finance (DeFi) and beyond.

Why Stability Matters – Let’s face it, the dramatic nature of crypto price fluctuations is thrilling and panic-inducing! While the volatility presents trading opportunities, it severely limits real-world use cases like purchases or remittances. This is why they solve this by offering digital money that holds its value over time. This reliability makes a whole new realm of innovative blockchain applications possible.

Types of Stablecoins

Do you know that not all stablecoins are created equal? The various types utilize different strategies to maintain their price pegs. These strategies may include:

  • Asset Reserves: Many stablecoin issuers hold equivalent reserves of the underlying asset, like US dollars or commodities, to back each stablecoin in circulation. This acts as collateral, allowing 1:1 redemption if needed. An example of a fully collateralized token is the USD Coin (USDC).
  • Dynamic Supply Adjustments: Some stablecoins employ algorithmic strategies to regulate their circulating supply. These algorithms aim to prevent price fluctuations from the desired peg by incentivizing certain behaviors like burning or minting new tokens.
  • Programmatic Transactions: Stablecoins built on blockchain technology can leverage smart contracts – self-executing code that automatically facilitates transactions when pre-defined rules are triggered. This allows protocols to dynamically maintain price pegs.

Let’s look at its types:

1. Fiat-Collateralized Stablecoins

These utilize a traditional approach. They are backed by fiat currency reserves held by the issuer, usually at a 1:1 ratio with the stablecoin’s value. Examples include Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), and Binance USD (BUSD).

2. Crypto-Collateralized Stablecoins  

Instead of fiat reserves, crypto-collateralized stablecoins are governed via decentralized platforms and smart contracts and stay dependent on other cryptocurrencies for backing.

Typically, these stablecoins are over-collateralized, ensuring that the value of the crypto-assets held in reserves exceeds that of the stablecoins issued. This precautionary measure protects the stablecoin’s value, especially during a substantial decline in the collateral’s worth. The most notable example is DAI, issued by the Maker Protocol and backed by Ethereum and other crypto assets.

3. Algorithmic Stablecoins

Projects like Frax use smart algorithms to control token supply and maintain that all-important peg. Controlling the supply of tokens in circulation incentivizes arbitrage as a result. Another example of algorithmic stablecoin is the ESD.

4. Commodity-Backed Stablecoins

Some stablecoins derive their value by being backed by commodities like precious metals. For example, The Paxos Gold (PAXG) token, is backed by physical gold reserves.

Stablecoins: Possibilities Unlocked

Stablecoins have emerged as a pivotal component of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Now that you understand what these unique assets are, let’s explore how they transform the crypto world:

1. Trading Pairs

Stablecoins provide traders with the needed liquidity, and stable quote currencies to trade against volatile pairs like BTC, ETH, etc. These traders also minimize fees when buying or selling other cryptocurrencies by leveraging stablecoins. Many exchanges don’t charge fees for converting to or from stablecoins. Rather than dealing in FIAT such as the Naira or U.S. dollars and incurring associated fees with every transaction, a crypto enthusiast can decide to hold a stash of stablecoins within the exchange. This is a strategy that users capitalize on in market upswings or weather downturns without sacrificing purchasing power in the interim.

JackoCoins is a cryptocurrency exchange in the heart of Nigeria where numerous cryptocurrency traders can enjoy the abovementioned benefits. As a trader, you can buy and store stablecoins such as USDT to hedge against the inflation and devaluation of the local currency, such as the Naira, and wait for the right opportunity to maximize profits by trading cryptocurrencies on our platform.

Download the Jackocoins mobile app and trade on the go.

2. Seamless Payments

The stability of stablecoins allows fast, affordable payments and remittances globally.

3. DeFi Building Blocks

Stablecoins are the lubricant for powering innovative DeFi protocols be it lending platforms or decentralized apps.

4. Safe Harbor for Assets

Traders and investors often use stablecoins to temporarily store their funds without exposure to the volatility of other cryptocurrencies.

Remember when crypto was the wild, wild west? Those were the days traders were kept gripping the edges of their seats! But as the digital asset revolution has continued, a stable force, stablecoins, has risen to bring much-needed calm to the storm.
Whether fiat-collateralized, crypto-backed, or controlled by smart supply contracts, stablecoins aim to give investors and builders a stable forte amidst the asset chaos. As blockchain tech continues to evolve and regulations catch up, these stabilizing cryptocurrencies could revolutionize how we interact with digital value.

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