Terra crashed spectacularly. Here’s how it was launched.

TerraForm Labs spent four years building its ecosystem and connecting it to other blockchains before things started to unravel earlier this month.

When TerraUSD algorithmic stablecoin (UST) lost its link, millions of dollars were wiped out in a matter of days. The coin, which used to carry a redeemable-for-a-dollar guarantee, has been traded for just a nickel. And LUNA, its governing token, which last month had a market value of more than $ 30 billion, has seen the metric drop to $ 680 million.

The company behind it all started in 201[ads1]8.

Business partners Do Kwon and Daniel Shin founded Terraform Labs in January, and that April registered it as a private limited company in Singapore.

By August, Terraform had completed a $ 32 million increase that included Translink Capital, Polychain Capital, FBG Capital, Hashed, 1kx, Kenetic Capital and Arrington XRP. Four of the largest crypto exchanges – Binance, OKEx, Huobi Capital and Dunamu – also invested in Terra’s Layer-0 blockchain.

From the beginning, Terra wanted to become a payment giant that could compete with the likes of Alipay and PayPal. Shin, the founder of the Korean e-commerce giant TMON, would later help bring more than 20 other companies to the table to form the Terra Alliance and implement the payment system.

At the beginning of 2019, Terra raised $ 62 million with a first coin offering (ICO) for its LUNA governance token, at $ 0.80 per LUNA. The team said it would be part of a “double-token system, composed of Terra – the stablecoin – and Luna, the collateral token.”

The Slide which came with the ICO also promised that its “Terra Stability Reserve” guaranteed solvency, “protects it from the speculative and regulatory risks to which other coins are exposed.”

Not long after that – exactly one year after Terraform Labs was registered in Singapore – the company launched Mainnet Columbus on April 24, 2019.

The blockchain was launched with a handful of tools: a block explorer, a staking dashboard, and a pre-sale investor registrar to create wallets and manage their LUNA tokens.

It was also a tool for “simulation models to look at how the Terra Stability Mechanism would respond to changes in macroeconomic variables,” Kwon said in a YouTube video uploaded the same day the main network was launched.

One of the major draws of the Terra ecosystem was the Anchor lending protocol, which was launched in July 2020.

It was designated as the possible “gold standard for passive income on the blockchain“Before its demise, Anchor promised lenders annual percentage returns of nearly 20%, and its total value locked up (TVL) increased to $ 17 billion – about 70% of all value in the Terra ecosystem.

The year Anchor was launched, investors who borrowed cryptocurrencies from the Maker protocol had just had a rude awakening.

The Maker (MKR) token, created by MakerDAO, was used to support DAI stablecoin as part of the credit system. The protocol lent DAI to users who locked their crypto, such as Ethereum, as security.

During what has become known as Black Thursday, the price of Ethereum fell below $ 100, which led to DAI loans being under-mortgaged. At that time, the protocol automatically puts the ETH security up for auction.

However, due to network congestion and high gas prices, some bidders were able to buy the liquidated assets for the insanely low price of $ 0. This meant that the people who had set up Ethereum for their now collateralised loans had lost everything.

“Keeper systems rely on arbitrators to finance liquidations on a discretionary basis, which can result in liquidity crises at times of high market volatility that lead to huge losses for borrowers,” wrote Nicholas Platias, Terra’s head of research, in a Medium blog post.

He connected to one reddit posts from a user who had lost 281 ETH.

“Liquidation contracts, on the contrary, are completely secured and force a long withdrawal period,” wrote Platias, “to provide stability in the face of temporary shocks.”

After the crash, Anchor had just UST and AVAX worth $ 100 millionAvalanche’s original token.

Terra announced the launch of its stablecoin in September 2020 after doing well with the second part of the dual-token system.

But less than a year later, it faced strong macroeconomic headwinds.

China was in the midst of cracking down on Bitcoin miners, and UST lost the dollar stick for the first time on May 22, 2021. Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin lost the dollar stick for the first time, trading for $ 0.95 for two days, according to CoinMarketCap .

Later that year, the last pieces that would make Terra’s fall so catastrophic moved into place. In October 2021, Terra joined both Wormhole and Cosmos IBC, chain chains that would allow users to move their money to the blockchain from others.

The day after the Wormhole announcement was posted on Terra’s blog, the total value of the project locked (TVL) came over $ 5 billion for the first time, according to DeFi call. When Terra joined IBC, UST was worth $ 2 billion in circulation, and the ecosystem had assets worth $ 9 billion.

With all the pieces in place, Kwon began collecting Bitcoin in a spare wallet, saying he eventually wanted Bitcoin worth $ 10 billion that supported UST.

“It’s not 10B today – as UST’s money supply grows, part of the seigniorage will go to building BTC reserves linked to the Terra chain,” he said in a tweet in March. “We have 3B funds ready to sow this reserve, but technical infrastructure (bridges, etc.) is still not ready yet.”

Just before Terras UST lost its dollar hold on May 9, was Luna Foundation Guard Bitcoin reserve had grown to 42.5 BTC, then worth $ 1.4 billion. But as the Bitcoin price began to fall, UST lost the tap and will eventually pull LUNA, the TerraForm Labs team and thousands of investors down with it.

Do you want to become a crypto expert? Get the best from Decrypt right to your inbox.

Get the biggest crypto news + weekly summaries and more!

Source link

Back to top button