What Is TerraUSD (UST)?
TerraUSD (UST) is the decentralized and algorithmic stablecoin of the Terra blockchain. It is a scalable, yield-bearing coin that is value-pegged to the US Dollar. TerraUSD was created to deliver value to the Terra community and offer a scalable solution for DeFi amid severe scalability problems faced by other stablecoin leaders like Dai. Thus, TerraUSD promises users a higher level of scalability, interest rate accuracy, and interchain usage.
TerraUSD provides several benefits that have made it a stand-out stablecoin competitor. Due to its minting mechanism, UST meets the requirements of DeFi protocols that it uses without losing scalability. UST can also be easily added to crypto wallets by simply integrating TerraUSD as a payment method. Another area where TerraUSD has shown its power is DApps. For example, platforms that mint fungible synthetic assets and track real-life asset prices use UST as a pricing benchmark.
TerraUSD (UST) was launched in September 2020 (in collaboration with Bittrex Global) and has since gained the reputation as the most scalable stablecoin. UST can be used in conjunction with LUNA, Terra's non-stablecoin crypto, or as a standalone token.
The UST LUNA Relationship
After the UST depeg, Do Kwon proposed a revival plan that would split the Terra blockchain into a new chain called Terra (also sometimes called Terra 2.0). The old Terra chain would continue to exist as Terra Classic. This revival plan passed a community vote, and most of the DeFi DApps subsequently migrated to the new Terra 2.0 chain.
UST is now called TerraClassicUSD (USTC) and only trades on the old Terra Classic blockchain. According to Do Kwon, there will be no migration of USTC to Terra 2.0 and also no updated version of the algorithmic stablecoin. Thus, TerraClassicUSD is de facto a defunct stablecoin and is not expected to regain its dollar peg in the future.
Who Are the Founders of TerraUSD?
Do Kwon and Daniel Shin founded Terra (LUNA) in April 2019. In September 2020, they launched TerraUSD on Bittrex Global. Since that date, TerraUSD has outstripped many stablecoin competitors in the market, such as GUSD (Gemini) and PAX (Paxos). Terra is TerraUSD's own blockchain, the creation of Terraform Labs (a subsidiary of Terra Alliance).
Do Kwon is the CEO of Terraform Labs. He is a former software engineer at Microsoft and Apple. He also served as CEO of Anyfi, a startup providing decentralized solutions for wireless mesh networks. Kwon is included in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list of the world's most successful entrepreneurs.
Co-founder Daniel Shin is a talented economist and entrepreneur. Before Terra Alliance, he co-founded Fast Track Asia, a startup incubator, and managed to co-found and lead TMON (Ticket Monster), a South Korean e-commerce platform.
What Makes TerraUSD (UST) Unique?
- Enhanced Scalability
- TerraUSD is an algorithmic stablecoin with a value equal to the face value of minted stablecoins. To issue 1 TerraUSD, you need to burn 1 LUNA reserve asset. It turns out that TerraUSD's monetary policy scales nearly without limits, thereby helping DeFi projects reach their full potential.
- Easy Exchange
- The stablecoins in the Terra ecosystem share the total liquidity, meaning you can exchange TerraUSD for TerraKRW (their stablecoin pegged to the Korean Won) with minimal fees.
- Passive Income Potential
- Additionally, users can gain passive income using TerraUSD with the Anchor protocol's stable interest rates. Anchor is a lending protocol that promises a 20% return on UST savings. Additional and steady income appears through rewards in PoS chains, which maintain their stability due to commissions and inflation. This nuance will make it possible to form a reliable interest rate.
- With the Dropship bridge protocol, TerraUSD allows blockchain ecosystems to be connected. Dropship integrates TerraUSD into numerous DeFi and DEX platforms, and most importantly, moves assets between chains. LUNA supply and demand determine the value of TerraUSD. Thus, a stable UST cost is guaranteed as the Dropship protocol helps maintain scalability.
To summarize, TerraUSD (UST) is the first decentralized stablecoin that provides interest earnings, incredible scalability, and easier interchain movement.
Anchor Protocol Yield Reserve Top Up
Anchor Protocol is a decentralized savings protocol offering low-volatile yields on TerraUSD deposits. The Anchor yield (around 19.5%) is derived from staking rewards from major proof-of-stake blockchains and from interest paid by borrowers, and the community believes it could be the reference interest rate in crypto.
Total deposits on Anchor grew from $2.5B in early December 2021, to over $6.5B currently. Over $10B worth of UST, including collateral, is locked up in the protocol currently, as crypto users pile on to capitalize on the attractive yields during the market downturn. As a result, concerns over the protocol burning through its yield reserve (at around $2M a day) to maintain the high benchmark returns grew. On Feb. 18, 2022, the founder of Terra, Do Kwon announced an Anchor yield reserve top-up of $450M. The yield reserve now sits at over $500M.
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