On Monday, May 9, 2022, the stablecoin terrausd (UST) lost its parity with the U.S. dollar and dropped to an all-time low of $0.66 per unit. The stablecoin has been one of the most topical discussions in crypto during the past 24 hours, as many have been betting on whether it will fail or recover. However, by 9:15 a.m. (ET) on Tuesday morning, the stablecoin has managed to climb back to $0.934 per unit.
UST Stablecoin Plunged to $0.66 per Unit, Rumors Spread Like Wildfire
The Terra blockchain project has been suffering in recent times, as the network’s native asset LUNA has shed 43.6% against the U.S. dollar during the past 24 hours. Moreover, the stablecoin terrausd (UST) has also been dealing with intense pressure as the token’s value plummeted from $0.99 to a low of $0.66 per unit. On a few exchanges, UST dropped as low as $0.62 per unit during periods of extreme selling. Just before UST dipped $0.09 lower than the $1 peg, Terra’s co-founder Do Kwon told the public that the team was “deploying more capital.”
A-Team is assembling.
— Terra (UST) 🌍 Powered by LUNA 🌕 (@terra_money) May 9, 2022
During the course of Monday evening, the Luna Foundation Guard (LFG) emptied the LFG bitcoin wallet that once held approximately 70,736.37 BTC. Currently, there is zero bitcoin in the wallet as it has been drained dry. The same can be said for the LFG Gnosis safe address, as the ethereum address held $143 million on May 3. Today, the wallet holds $135.58 in ether, and a few other ERC20 tokens with small values. While LFG and Do Kwon told the public on Monday that $1.5 billion in bitcoin and UST would be lent to market makers, the current moves have been less transparent.
While UST plunged to $0.66 per unit, a large number of theories swirled around the crypto industry. There have been claims that the multinational hedge fund and financial services company Citadel was involved. Reports further claim that Binance order books had paused during the UST sell-off. For a small period of time, Binance paused LUNA and UST withdrawals. Additionally, there’s been talk of well-known crypto funds bailing out Terra as well, by funneling billions back into the stablecoin’s ecosystem.
“There is a rumor spreading about Jump, Alameda, etc. providing another $2B to ‘bail out’ UST,” theblockcrypto head of research Larry Cermak tweeted on Monday evening. “Whether this rumor is true or not, it makes perfect sense for them to spread. The biggest question here is, even if they can get it to $1 by some miracle, the trust is irreversibly gone.”
After UST Rebounds to $0.93, People Question Trusting the Stablecoin Project, Anchor TVL Slips by 43% in a Single Day
Discussions about people losing trust in LUNA, UST, and Terra, in general, have been littered all over social media. “No matter how this ends, I don’t want people to call UST decentralized again,” the bitcoin advocate Hasu tweeted on Monday. “Even the little collateral backing it has is intransparent and controlled by a single party. Used to perform discretionary open market operations. This is like 10x worse than the Fed,” Hasu added.
😶 $UST stablecoin peg breaking…
Same story as with any central bank trying to defend a currency peg: once the market casts a no confidence vote, your prop-up fund rarely has enough assets to prevent the dam from breaking. pic.twitter.com/x3llQtABmv
— Tuur Demeester (@TuurDemeester) May 9, 2022
Investor Lyn Alden also made a statement about the Terra disaster after she predicted it could happen last month. “Terra’s multi-billion-dollar algorithmic stablecoin UST blew up today,” Alden said. “Aside from destroying the value of LUNA, they used their bitcoin reserves to try to defend the peg, kind of like a flailing emerging market using its gold reserves to defend its FX.”
During the overnight trading sessions and into the trading sessions on Tuesday morning, UST has been recovering from the losses. So far, terrausd (UST) has managed to climb back to $0.934 per unit, or down 6% from the $1 parity. Terra’s co-founder Do Kwon has not tweeted since saying the ‘A-team’ was deploying capital, even though the co-founder is very well-known for defending his project. At the same time, LFG has also not updated the public since its last tweet, which said it would provide more updates.
Mark my words. The UST failure will be used as evidence by policy makers to regulate stablecoins to death and champion CBDCs.
This is not good.
— Dennis Porter (@Dennis_Porter_) May 10, 2022
In addition to the problems with LUNA’s and UST’s price, the decentralized finance (defi) lending protocol Anchor has shed 43.7% of its total value locked (TVL) during the past 24 hours. At the time of writing, Anchor has a TVL of around $7.22 billion and $95.08 million is Avalanche-based collateral. Anchor was once the third-largest defi protocol, and it has dropped down to the sixth position on Tuesday.
People in tradfi making fun of UST… not realizing their stablecoin also depegged by 8% this year.
— Erik Voorhees (@ErikVoorhees) May 10, 2022
Many wonder what’s going to happen if UST regains its $1 parity with trust in the stablecoin so shaken. Many UST owners could be waiting for the $0.99 area or close to that range, so they can cash out of the stablecoin and move into something else. At $0.934141, UST is closer to the $1 parity, but an investment of 5,000 UST would only equate to $4,670.70 at current prices.
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What do you think about the Terra project’s issues and the recent UST de-pegging? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Jamie Redman is the News Lead at Bitcoin.com News and a financial tech journalist living in Florida. Redman has been an active member of the cryptocurrency community since 2011. He has a passion for Bitcoin, open-source code, and decentralized applications. Since September 2015, Redman has written more than 5,000 articles for Bitcoin.com News about the disruptive protocols emerging today.
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