Stablecoin investors may be due a wake-up call

Als Nachtrag zum Podcast vom 14.11.2021 noch ein Beitrag aus der FINANCIAL TIMES (FT) zum Thema “Stable Coins”:

  • “A dozen years ago, during the 2008 financial crisis, it occurred to me that the best way to make a financial system safe, amid wild innovation, was for investors and regulators to suffer regular, small ‘wake-up’ calls. These events, like the porridge in the Goldilocks tale, would be just ‘hot’ enough to hurt, but not so scorching that they created permanent burns. (…) an interesting question to ponder today, amid another wild bout of financial innovation around cryptocurrencies, is whether we might yet see a version of that Goldilocks moment at work?” – bto: Ja, aber ist es Spekulation? Ich kann es nicht beurteilen.
  • “Consider the intriguing story of the cryptocurrency called Tether. In recent years, the Tether company, which is controlled by the owners of a crypto exchange called Bitfinex, has issued $69bn of so-called ‘stablecoins’ — digital tokens pegged to other assets such as dollars. This sum, which has expanded rapidly this year, means that Tether represents about half the total stablecoin universe. And since the coin is widely used as a convenient way to transfer digital assets into fiat currency (and vice versa) and conduct transactions between different platforms it is often described as the reserve currency of the crypto world.” – bto: Aber man fragt sich, worin der Sinn besteht, ein Asset zu halten, das genauso von den Notenbanken manipuliert werden kann wie die FIAT-Währung, an die es gebunden ist.
  • “Before February 2019, the company claimed the token was backed by holdings of dollars, enabling it to maintain a one-to-one exchange rate. However, earlier this year the group paid an $18.5m fine to the New York attorney-general’s office as part of a settlement, following allegations by the AG that Tether had ‘obscured the true risk investors faced’ with its reserves before February 2019.” – bto: Bilanzbetrug. Nicht schlecht.
  • “The company has added a note to its website to say that the token is backed by safe, dollar-like assets, such as $30bn of US commercial paper (a claim that implies it is the seventh largest global operator in this sector) (…) Bloomberg claimed that part of Tether’s assets were sitting in Chinese bonds, amid unusual financial flows between offshore bank accounts.” – bto: Die Firma will also damit Geld verdienen. O. k., es ist aber ein anderes Risiko als bei einem Geldmarktfonds.
  • “Should the mainstream financial world care? Some seasoned performers might argue not. After all, stablecoins currently act somewhat like the poker chips of a cyber casino. (…) Yet that idea seems more and more naive. For one thing, mainstream investors and institutions are increasingly being pulled into the crypto-world, for investment purposes, if nothing else.” – bto: und 30 Milliarden sind dann doch etwas Größeres.
  • “One obvious step that any mainstream investors and institutions tiptoeing into this world must take is to demand better, audited policies around reserves. In China, the reserves backing fintech products are held at the central bank; in Kenya, a product such as M-Pesa holds reserves in a trust account. Something similarly transparent is needed for Tether and other stablecoins.” – bto: es braucht einfach eine Aufsicht.
  • “A second step is that regulators need to increase co-ordinated global oversight. This will not be easy, given the mobile, flighty nature of cyber space. (…) although bodies such as the FSB are skilled at sharing data about cross-border financial flows, they have ‘no counterpart’ in digital sphere. This matters, given that many crypto companies describe themselves as being in ‘software’.” – bto: Es sind Vehikel, um die Betreiber reich zu machen und da muss man aufpassen.
  • “It is good news that regulators have pledged to increase their scrutiny and it is even more welcome that critical attention is being paid to companies such as Tether. Yes, crypto fans might howl. But, without some accidents and controversies to keep investors on their toes, there could be a bigger disaster. Perhaps a gentle wake-up call is due.” – bto: Es ist eine Spekulationsblase. Ob sie platzt, wann sie platzt? Keine Ahnung. Auf jeden Fall ist Vorsicht geboten. (Anmeldung erforderlich): „Stablecoin investors may be due a wake-up call”, 14. Oktober 2021