Stablecoin collapse sends tokens tumbling

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Stablecoin collapse sends tokens tumbling

Crypto-currency markets are being rocked after a popular token lost 99% of its value, dragging down a so-called "stablecoin" with it.

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The Terra Luna token fell from a high of $118 (£96), last month, to $0.09 on Thursday.

The collapse had a knock-on effect on a linked token, TerraUSD, which is normally stable.

And spooked investors are now pulling out of major crypto-currencies, sending markets plummeting.

The companies behind stablecoins try to ensure they remain in parity with assets such as the US dollar - with one token equalling $1, for example.

But on Thursday TerraUSD fell to $0.4 according to the trading website Coin Market Cap.

Tether, the most popular stablecoin, also fell off its US dollar peg - to an all-time low of $0.95.

'The panics'
The term "cryptocrash" has been trending on Twitter and Google Search.

And the combined market value of all crypto-currencies is now reportedly $1.12trillion, about a third of its November value, with more than 35% of that loss coming this week.

One Bitcoin is now worth about $27,000, its lowest value since December 2020 and down from a high of nearly $70,000 late last year.

Ethereum, the second largest coin by value, has lost 20% of its value in 24 hours.

Robust regulation
Lawmakers and officials in a number of countries have called for stablecoins to be regulated.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen cited the TerraUSD collapse, in a Senate committee meeting on Tuesday, to ask again for robust regulation.

"It simply illustrates that this is a rapidly growing product and that there are risks to financial stability and we need a framework that's appropriate," she said.