Understand Volatility of Algorithmic Stablecoin: Modeling, Verification and Empirical Analysis

01/21/2021 ∙ by Wenqi Zhao, et al. ∙ 0

An algorithmic stablecoin is a type of cryptocurrency managed by algorithms (i.e., smart contracts) to dynamically minimize the volatility of its price relative to a specific form of asset, e.g., US dollar. As algorithmic stablecoins have been growing rapidly in recent years, they become much more volatile than expected. In this paper, we took a deep dive into the core of algorithmic stablecoins and shared our answer to two fundamental research questions, i.e., Are algorithmic stablecoins volatile by design? Are they volatile in practice? Specifically, we introduced an in-depth study on three popular types of algorithmic stablecoins and developed a modeling framework to formalize their key design protocols. Through formal verification, the framework can identify critical conditions under which stablecoins might become volatile. Furthermore, we performed a systematic empirical analysis on real transaction activities of the Basis Cash stablecoin to relate theoretical possibilities to market observations. Lastly, we highlighted key design decisions for future development of algorithmic stablecoins.

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