Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Tokenomics: How “Risky” are the Stablecoins?

Shah, Anand and Bahri, Anu (2023): Tokenomics: How “Risky” are the Stablecoins?

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This study proposes a new risk measure for stablecoins, that is based on the probability of the stablecoin’s price hitting a threshold exchange rate post which the stablecoin is subjected to the risk of “break the buck/ death spiral”. We also juxtapose the risk measure computed using different models - Vasicek, CIR, ARMA+GARCH and Vasicek+GARCH and suggest the policy implication of the estimated model parameters - rate of reversion (a) and long term mean exchange rate (b) for stablecoin issuers. The study compares the volatility behaviour of the stablecoins with that of the traditional cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, equity index, NASDAQ composite and fiat currency, EURO. Stablecoins tend to be “stable” barring the events such as Terra – Luna crisis, FTX Bankruptcy and Silicon Valley Bank crisis. Traditional asset backed stablecoins – Tether, USD Coin, Binance USD and True USD are less risky than the decentralized algorithmic stablecoin, FRAX and decentralized cryptoasset backed stablecoin, DAI. The proposed risk measure could be of utility to the stablecoin issuers of algorithmic and cryptoasset backed stablecoins and the regulators for setting the capital requirement to guard against the break the buck/ death spiral risk.

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