Algorithmic Stablecoins: What They Are and How They Can Go Terribly Wrong

Stablecoins are a type of cryptocurrency that aims to keep its value stable by pegging its price to a stable asset such as the US dollar. They provide the benefits of cryptocurrencies, such as fast and secure transactions, while avoiding the volatility that can make traditional cryptocurrencies risky to use on a daily basis.

Stablecoins are becoming an increasingly important part of the crypto ecosystem as interest in cryptocurrencies grows and the need for a stable digital currency grows, to know more about Algorithmic Stablecoins read the given article!

What Are Stablecoins Exactly?

Stablecoins are a type of cryptocurrency that is designed to keep its value stable by being pegged to an underlying asset such as the US dollar or gold. As a result, they are less volatile than other cryptocurrencies, which can see significant price fluctuations. Stablecoins can be used as a store of value, a medium of exchange, or a unit of account, and they can provide advantages like faster transaction times and lower fees when compared to traditional financial systems.

What is the Algorithmic Concept and What is the Purpose Behind Using it?

The use of algorithms, or sets of rules and instructions, to automate decision-making and other processes are referred to as the algorithmic concept. The goal of employing algorithmic concepts is to improve efficiency, accuracy, and scalability while decreasing the need for human intervention. This can be used to improve operations and achieve better results in a variety of industries, including finance, healthcare, and transportation. However, the application of algorithmic concepts can raise ethical and social concerns, such as bias and discrimination, which must be addressed carefully to ensure fair and just outcomes.

What Are Algorithmic Stablecoins?

Algorithmic stablecoins are a type of cryptocurrency that uses algorithmic mechanisms to maintain a stable value rather than being tied to a specific asset like traditional stablecoins. These mechanisms can include algorithms that adjust the supply of the stablecoin based on market demand or incentives that encourage users to trade or hold the stablecoin in specific ways. The goal of algorithmic stablecoins is to provide a stable and reliable store of value that can be used for everyday transactions while avoiding the limitations that traditional stablecoins face. However, the effectiveness of these mechanisms can be influenced by market conditions and other factors, which can make algorithmic stablecoins more volatile and risky than traditional stablecoins.

Types of Algorithmic Stablecoins

There are various types of algorithmic stablecoins, such as:

  1. Hybrid stablecoins: To maintain a stable value, these stablecoins use a combination of seigniorage-style and collateral-backed mechanisms. To maintain price stability, the algorithm adjusts the supply of the stablecoin based on market demand and also employs a basket of collateral assets.
  2. Stablecoins that rebase: These stablecoins use a mechanism known as "rebasing" to adjust the coin's supply and maintain price stability. If the coin's price rises above its peg, the algorithm reduces the coin's supply in each user's wallet and if the price falls below the peg, the algorithm adds to the supply in each user's wallet.
  3. Stablecoins based on seigniorage: These stablecoins use an algorithm to adjust the coin's supply based on demand, with the goal of maintaining a stable value. If the stablecoin's price rises above its peg, the algorithm creates new coins and sells them on the market, and if the price falls below the peg, the algorithm purchases and burns coins to reduce supply.
  4. Stablecoins backed by collateral: These stablecoins use a basket of collateral assets to keep their value stable. The collateral value is used to back the stablecoin, and the algorithm can adjust the stablecoin's supply to maintain price stability.

Why do we use Algorithms with Stablecoins?

The following are some of the reasons why algorithms are used with stablecoins:

  • To automate the supply management of the stablecoin, which facilitates maintaining a stable value over time.
  • To allow the stablecoin to be used in daily transactions, as its stable value makes it more practical for day-to-day purchases.
  • To eliminate the need for centralized control or intervention by allowing the algorithm to manage the stablecoin's supply autonomously.
  • To potentially achieve greater efficiency, accuracy, and scalability in stablecoin management when compared to traditional methods.
  • Depending on market demand, adjust the supply of the stablecoin, which can help to stabilize the coin's price and reduce volatility.

How does Algorithmic Stablecoins Work?

Algorithmic stablecoins use an algorithm to manage the coin's supply and keep its value stable. The algorithm can adjust the supply of the coin based on market demand by employing various mechanisms such as seigniorage, collateralization, and rebasing.

  • Seigniorage stablecoins mint new coins when the price is higher than the peg and burn coins when the price is lower.
  • Collateral-backed stablecoins are backed by a basket of collateral assets, and the algorithm can adjust supply to maintain price stability.
  • Hybrid stablecoins maintain stability through a combination of seigniorage and collateral mechanisms.
  • Rebasing stablecoins adjusts the supply of the coin in each user's wallet to maintain price stability.

The algorithm is typically autonomous and decentralized, which means it operates without centralized control or intervention and the effectiveness of algorithmic stablecoins can be influenced by a variety of factors, including market conditions and algorithm design.

Are Algorithmic Stablecoins Safe or What are the Risks with Algorithmic Stablecoins?

Here are some potential risks associated with algorithmic stablecoins:

  • Price volatility
  • Over-collateralization
  • Liquidity risk
  • Smart contract risk
  • Centralization risk
  • Regulatory risk

The Most Well Known Algorithmic Stablecoin

here are some of the most well-known algorithmic stablecoins:

  • DAI (MakerDAO)
  • FRAX
  • Ampleforth
  • Empty Set Dollar (ESD)
  • Basis Cash (BAC)
  • Dynamic Set Dollar (DSD)
  • TerraUSD (UST)
  • Fei Protocol (FEI)
  • Liquity (LQTY)
  • OHM (OlympusDAO)

What is the Future of Algorithmic Stablecoins?

The future of algorithmic stablecoins is unknown, but they will almost certainly continue to play an important role in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. We may see further innovation in the design and implementation of algorithmic stablecoins as the market evolves and new use cases emerge. However, regulatory issues, market volatility, and other risks may impede their adoption and success.

How Algorithmic Stablecoin Can Go Terribly Wrong?

Here are a few examples of how algorithmic stablecoins can go wrong:

1: Collateral Risk: If the collateral used to back the stablecoin depreciates too quickly, the stablecoin may lose its peg and experience a significant drop in value.

2: Smart Contract Bugs: Algorithmic stablecoins rely on smart contracts, which can have bugs or vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit, resulting in a loss of funds.

3: Regulatory Risk: If algorithmic stablecoins are perceived as securities or other financial instruments, they may face regulatory challenges or restrictions.

4: Black Swan Events: Algorithmic stablecoins are susceptible to unexpected or extreme events, such as a sudden drop in demand or a sudden increase in supply, which can disrupt the stablecoin's operation and cause it to lose its peg.

5: Liquidity Risk: If the stablecoin market lacks liquidity, it may become difficult to buy or sell the coin, resulting in price volatility or a loss of value.

6: Risk of Centralization: If the algorithmic stablecoin is overly centralized, it may be vulnerable to external pressures or manipulation.


Algorithmic stablecoins are a type of cryptocurrency that uses algorithmic mechanisms to keep its price stable. While they provide some distinct benefits, such as decentralization and flexibility, they also pose significant risks and challenges. As the market for algorithmic stablecoins evolves, it remains to be seen how they will be adopted and whether they will be able to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.

About the author

Kevin R

Trade with Binance.US