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What is the point of a stablecoin?

Quartz – Scott Nover: “Few assets are as volatile as cryptocurrencies. In the last year,  the price of Bitcoin nearly quintupled to a new high in April before losing half of its value and then rebounding. Almost all cryptocurrencies still fluctuate wildly, making them attractive for investors but risky assets for people who want to use them for one of their intended purposes: money to pay for goods and services. That’s made stability a rare—and valuable—quality in the world of cryptocurrencies. A host of “stablecoins” are emerging to serve this need. These cryptocurrencies run on blockchains ostensibly tied to the value of government-backed currencies like the US dollar or precious metals such as silver or gold. The largest stablecoins by market capitalization are tether, USD Coin, Binance USD, dai, and terraUSD, all tied to the US dollar, although dozens exist with an aggregate market capitalization of more than $100 billion. But virtually none of these coins are regulated like fiat currencies or commodities. Without regulation and oversight, there’s not much assurance customers are buying what they’re sold. Despite becoming an important fixture in modern finance, some even dip below the value of the currency to which they are supposedly tied. As is the case with all crypto, it’s still the Wild West…”

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