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What Are Stablecoins?

By December 24, 2020May 10th, 20234 minute read

If you are to buy cryptocurrency in India, you probably think Bitcoin is the most widely used cryptocurrency across the globe; there’s a good chance that you’re wrong. Bitcoin might be quite popular, but according to CoinMarketCap, the crypto with the highest daily and monthly trading volume happens to be Tether or USDT, even though its market cap is significantly smaller than that of Bitcoin. 

Now, what is Tether? Tether is a particular kind of cryptocurrency, known as stablecoins. If you were to buy Bitcoin or any of the altcoins on any cryptocurrency exchange in India, you’d find most of the trading is done in USDT. Indeed, most seasoned crypto traders rely on stablecoins while trading to protect their holdings, and for a good reason, too: traders quickly switch to a stablecoin when they expect a crypto coin’s price to fall. 

Why, you ask? 

Well, to find that out, let’s first see what stablecoins actually are, shall we?

So, What Are Stablecoins?

Simply put, stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that act like fiat currencies; reserve assets advocate them. The value of a stablecoin can represent that of a physical currency, a valuable asset like gold, and even another cryptocurrency. For instance, the value of Tether or USDT is pegged to the US dollar; 1 USDT is equal to 1 USD, so the USDT and USD maintain a 1:1 ratio in terms of value. The primary objective of stablecoins is to offer price stability – unlike regular cryptocurrencies. As of right now, most stablecoins exist on the Ethereum blockchain.  

Key Characteristics of Stablecoins

Stablecoins combine the better features of cryptocurrencies and fiat money, so they essentially carry the best of both worlds. Here are some of the key characteristics of stablecoins that you should be aware of if you want to buy cryptocurrency in India:

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  1. Stablecoin prices don’t fluctuate as wildly as regular cryptocurrencies. Crypto prices are ever volatile and unpredictable at the best of times. This particular trait of cryptocurrencies is one of the factors that’s keeping them from becoming a mainstream mode of payment. However, stablecoins are tied to underlying assets that collateralize them and keep them grounded, so they are suitable for mainstream adoption.
  2. Since stablecoins are basically cryptocurrencies, transactions are processed fast while maintaining the counterparties’ privacy and security, making them fit to be used for regular transactions. 
  3. Using stablecoins for transactions also means you pay the lowest possible trading charges, regardless of the cryptocurrency exchange in India you use to trade and store your crypto.  
  4. Like with the usual cryptocurrencies, you can send funds to anyone in any corner of the world using stablecoins without needing intermediaries.

Categories of Stablecoins

Stablecoins can be categorized into three classes based on the types of assets that keep them collateralized. If you intend to buy cryptocurrency in India, you should be aware of these classifications: 

  1. Fiat-Collateralized Stablecoins: Fiat-collateralized stablecoins – also known as centralized stablecoins – are the most widely used stablecoins. These have either fiat currency reserves or physical assets backing them up. Therefore they are the best option in terms of stability.

Fiat-collateralized stablecoins have a central authority figure/ organization (for example, financial institutions like banks) behind them that holds a certain amount of fiat currency and issues an equivalent number of stablecoin tokens as collateral. Precious metals like gold, silver, etc., and even commodities like natural gas, oil, etc., can also be used as collaterals by authority figures to issue stablecoins. 

Aside from Tether, TrueUSD is another fiat-collateralized stablecoin pegged to the USD at a ratio of 1:1. 

  1. Crypto-Collateralized Stablecoins: Crypto-collateralized stablecoins, as you have probably guessed, have cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple) to ground their values. 

You might be wondering what’s the point of crypto-collateralized stablecoins since any price fluctuations of the underlying crypto would affect the stablecoin as well. However, to combat that very issue, crypto-collateralized stablecoins are 

over-collateralized, i.e., the stablecoins released for circulation are smaller in number compared to the number of cryptocurrencies kept in reserve. Additionally, crypto-collateralized stablecoins are trustless and not controlled by a singular authority figure. 

MakerDAO’s DAI is perhaps the most popular crypto-collateralized stablecoin, with Ethereum acting as collateral.

  1. Non-Collateralized/ Algorithmic Stablecoins: Finally, algorithmic stablecoins are uncollateralized – they don’t have any reserves backing them up. However, they use smart contracts and autonomous, distributed algorithms to mimic the mechanism that works behind an institution like a central bank and keep the values stable. An algorithmic stablecoin network can automatically issue new coins when the price goes up and burn existing coins to decrease the coin supply when the price goes down.   

Should You Consider Investing in Stablecoins?

The foremost criticism against stablecoins is that they are inherently centralized, which sort of defeats one of the primary purposes of cryptocurrency – a decentralized financial system. Therefore, once you buy stablecoins, you’d have a central authority figure holding power over your funds. Moreover, in theory, these centralized organizations can withdraw the issued stablecoins at any moment since the code inside the stablecoins allows them to burn or freeze these coins. Naturally, they can also issue more stablecoins if they see fit.

That being said, stablecoins have still provided the general populace with a gateway into the crypto space by extracting the uncertainty associated with the regular cryptocurrencies’ values. They hold the potential to become a preferred alternative to traditional money and bring about a more global adoption of cryptocurrencies. Therefore, if you want to buy cryptocurrency in India, you should definitely consider investing in stablecoins. 

Wondering which cryptocurrency exchange in India you should buy and store your crypto on? WazirX has earned a reputation for being the safest and most cost-effective platform within the Indian crypto community to buy and sell well over 100 cryptocurrencies! To find out how you can open a crypto trading account and buy cryptocurrency in India, you can give this blog post over here a read!

Happy trading!

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Make Bitcoin?

Bitcoin mining is not just the process of putting new Bitcoins into circulation, but it is also an essential part of the blockchain ledger's upkeep and development. It is carried out with the assistance of highly advanced computers that answer challenging computational math problems. Miners are rewarded for their efforts as auditors. They are in charge of ensuring that Bitcoin transactions are legitimate. Satoshi Nakamoto, who is the founder of Bitcoin, innovated this standard for keeping Bitcoin users ethical. Miners help to prevent the "double-spending problem" by confirming transactions.

How To Invest In Bitcoin?

Bitcoin may be invested in two ways: through mining or exchanges. Bitcoin mining is carried out by high-powered computers that solve challenging computational arithmetic problems that are too difficult to complete by hand and complex enough to tax even the most powerful computers. WazirX, a Bitcoin exchange, is another alternative.

How Many Cryptocurrencies Are There?

There are over 5000 other digital currencies available on the internet in addition to Bitcoins. The only problem is that they haven't gotten the users' attention. Besides Bitcoins, a few other digital currencies have gained popularity among users. It's been more than ten years since Bitcoins were first released, and now they've achieved new heights thanks to their phenomenal success.

Is Cryptocurrency Banned In India?

No, cryptocurrency is not banned in India. India has seen its ups and downs in the crypto sector concerning its legal status. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a circular in April 2018 advising all organizations under its jurisdiction not to trade in virtual currencies or provide services to assist anyone in dealing with or settling them. A government committee proposed outlawing all private cryptocurrencies in mid-2019, with up to ten years in prison and severe penalties for anyone dealing in digital currency. The Supreme Court overruled the RBI's circular in March 2020, allowing banks to undertake cryptocurrency transactions from dealers and exchanges.

Are Cryptocurrencies Legal In India?

In India, cryptocurrency is legal, and anyone can buy, sell, and trade it. Because India lacks a regulatory system to regulate its operations, it is presently uncontrolled. According to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, companies must now document their crypto trading/investments inside the financial year.

How Safe Are Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies can be safe, but your crypto wallets can be hacked if proper security steps are not performed.There are also dangers and uncertainties associated with investments, and we cannot declare any virtual currency investment risk-free. Buying and selling cryptocurrencies does not have to be dangerous if the trader is well-versed in the market and treats his coins with care.

What Are The Best Cryptocurrencies To Invest In?

The best cryptocurrencies to invest in would be the ones you study and analyze in detail. Some of the most popular cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many altcoins such as Tron, Ripple, Litecoin, etc.

What Is The Meaning Of Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency that was first introduced in January 2009. It is invented based on the key concepts and notions presented in a whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto, a mysterious and pseudonymous figure. The name of the individual or people who invented technology is yet unknown. Bitcoin promises reduced transaction fees than existing online payment methods, and a decentralized authority controls it, unlike government-issued currencies.

Is Bitcoin Trading Is Legal In India?

In 2020, the Supreme Court of India lifted the RBI’s restrictions on cryptocurrencies. According to the Supreme Court, the existence of Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency is unregulated but not unlawful. The verdict has greatly aided the world of digital money in the country. To put it another way, investing in Bitcoin is perfectly legal, and you may do so through various apps and traders.

How To Invest In Cryptocurrency In India?

There are two ways of investing in cryptocurrency, mining and via exchanges. Cryptocurrency mining is the process of verifying and adding transactions between users to the blockchain public ledger. Purchasing cryptocurrency in India is a straightforward procedure where investors simply participate by registering with a crypto exchange such as WazirX. After registering for an account, citizens can trade multiple cryptocurrencies, store cryptocurrency in wallets, and more.

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is not a legal tender and is currently unregulated. Kindly ensure that you undertake sufficient risk assessment when trading cryptocurrencies as they are often subject to high price volatility. The information provided in this section doesn't represent any investment advice or WazirX's official position. WazirX reserves the right in its sole discretion to amend or change this blog post at any time and for any reasons without prior notice.
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