Stablecoins have long divided opinion in the crypto community, with some believing they’re needed to gradually convert the masses away from fiat, whereas others have grave concerns about these dollar-pegged assets. Four experts – Gabriel Cardona, Roger Ver, Miko Matsumura, and Vin Armani – recently shared very different stablecoin opinions on the Bitcoin.com podcast.
The Stablecoin Is Here to Stay
Stablecoins, love them or hate them, are here to stay – for now, at least. That’s one thing the four experts who spoke on the Bitcoin.com podcast with host Matt Aaron agreed on. The digital coins, whose value is pegged to fiat currency, were a hot topic in 2018, with tether (USDT) frequently talked about and heavily traded. Despite their shortcomings, it looks like stablecoins will feature prominently in 2019’s cryptocurrency markets, just as they did in 2018.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) developer Gabriel Cardona told Bitcoin.com that 2019 will be the year of the stablecoin: “I think stablecoins are completely radical and I know there are some very smart people out there who are naysayers and say it is impossible to have a stablecoin. I suspect it is possible although I’m not going to probably be the person to design it – but my intuition tells me that it will be possible to have some kind of stablecoin that works most of the time for most use cases.”
Cardona also said he thinks the stablecoin is the missing piece of the BCH token ecosystem, and added that people are attracted to them because of the volatility seen with conventional cryptocurrencies. “We need merchants to be able to adopt it [cryptocurrency] and they’re unable to because volatility is so high and they can’t be exposed to it,” he explained.
Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver also said that 2019 would be the year of the stablecoin. “I think we’ll see a lot more people using stablecoins,” he said. “It seems pretty clear that the market is headed in that direction at the moment.” Stablecoins are popular, not only due to their relative immunity from volatility, but also their ability to serve as a fiat surrogate that can be stored onchain. Institutional investors have been particularly attracted to stablecoins as a hedge against extreme price movements, as Vin Armani, developer and founder of Cointext, acknowledged:
They [institutional investors] want something that feels familiar, and so stablecoins present that. It’s a way to bring in institutional investors.
Miko Matsumura, cofounder of Evercoin and GP of Gumi Cryptos venture fund, said that stablecoins will stick around, though the way we see them will change over time. “The point I will make is stablecoins will continue to exist but we will think of them more as payment coins, we will think of them as ecommerce coins or kinds of baskets of asset-backed security-like mutual funds – we’ll think of them differently from the way we think of them today.”
The Downsides to Stablecoins
Stablecoins have frequently drawn criticism, which all of the experts noted in the podcast. One such fault, according to Matsumura, is that stablecoins are unimaginative and have little appeal. “If that [stability] is the only property of a coin, then it’s not interesting,” he said. Matsumura added the phrase ‘stablecoin’ is itself a “Telegram and Twitter-driven monstrosity” and the coins allow people to “move in and out of crypto” while still being in crypto.
Those who criticize stablecoins do so because they want cryptocurrencies to move people away from a dependence on government regulation. Roger Ver, a prominent critic of stablecoins, said that it was “frustrating” there is so much interest in them: “I want to see the U.S. dollar, the euro and the yen replaced by cryptocurrencies directly rather than tokens pegged to the dollar, euro or yen but it seems pretty clear that the market is headed in that direction at the moment.”
Vin Armani added that stablecoins would eventually “go away,” but in the meantime are a “bridge technology,” He said that one danger is “for regulators to take a chomp at them” – a frequent concern among the crypto community.
Despite the concerns raised by the podcast guests, all four agreed on one thing – the stablecoin is here to stay and 2019 will likely be an even bigger year for pegged digital assets than 2018.
What do you think about stablecoins and the views of the four experts as quoted above? Let us know in the comments section below.
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