What is Luna and is it really the end for crypto?
This week’s crash and burn of stablecoin Luna and TerraUST have raised concerns about the implications such a crash will have on investors, VC funds, other larger cryptocurrencies and the wider economy. It even raised the eyebrows of US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen who outlined her stance on the risks that exist with stablecoins.
Yellen called for new regulations that address the dangers and risks of using tokens that claim to be pegged to the US dollar. She told lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee, “I wouldn’t characterise it at this scale as a real threat to financial stability, but they’re growing very rapidly and they present the same kind of risks that we have known for centuries in connection with bank runs.”
Some are calling this the Lehman Brothers GFC moment while crypto enthusiasts are shifting blame saying it was a coordinated attack from an institution. The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter. What was uncovered, during those frantic few days when emotions were high and markets were driven by panic and fear, is that there are serious flaws in the current stablecoin system that needs to be overhauled and fixed.
Crypto isn’t the safe-haven asset it was once made out to be. When fear and panic set in, the first assets investors dump are those on high valuations with non-existent revenue streams i.e. tech stocks and crypto.
Stablecoins claim to be safe in a highly volatile crypto market because they are tied to a fiat currency and maintain a 1-to-1 peg with the US dollar. The recent events prove the system is flawed and if anything stablecoins are more volatile than any other asset.
The reality is, more than $18 billion was drained from Luna which evaporated into thin air. Its price fell from US$100 a few weeks ago, to US$0.02. That’s a 99.9 percent fall in one week. At the blink of an eye, investors will have lost their entire life savings, people have lost livelihoods, hundreds of platforms are now gone and VC funds have blown up. No one even knows the implications and how far this goes. One thing’s for sure, Wall Street along with US regulators, have all been watching it unfold.
This may be a dark day for the crypto world, but with it comes the opportunity to learn and improve, redesign and fix the flaws, so that real stability and confidence can support the crypto world.