Why is suddenly everyone in such a rush to create a regulated IOU stablecoin?
While some of the marketing speak surrounding stablecoins revolves around creating a fully independent crypto ecosystem without the greedy banks, banks are the ones capitalizing here.
Adopted from the Weekly Market Commentary from TradeBlock, October 15, 2018:
Circle recently launched its own IOU stablecoin, USDC, backed by USD reserves. Circle has built out a separate entity, CENTRE, to act as a governance structure and networking entity that financial institutions opt into in order to mint new USDC stable coins. CENTRE is not the issuer of the stablecoin, the member institutions are.
According to CENTRE white paper, these member institutions are then responsible for issuing the coins and are audited by CENTRE to make sure the reserve is there.
This process works in a similar way for all IOU stablecoins: Verified customer sends a cash deposit to a member of CENTRE, the member then mints the stablecoin equivalent and sends the amount to the customer.
The issuing member now holds the cash deposit, the customer holds the stablecoin.
The issuing member is a money business or a bank: In the case of CENTRE, the only issuer (for now) is Circle. In other IOU stablecoin solutions, as well as with USDC in the future, the deposit may go to a regular bank. Circle itself is actively looking to become a federally licensed bank in the US.
But unlike with a regular customer deposit, in this case the bank is not paying interest to the depositor.
TradeBlock suggests that for USDC these banking institutions would hold the cash deposit with the Federal Reserve Bank: “As the FED raises interest rates (another rate hike is expected in 2018 and three rate hikes for 2019) these banking institutions could stand to benefit as greater interest is paid on these cash holdings.”
In other words, according to TradeBlock banks lucky enough to partner with an IOU stablecoin might stand to earn more money on customer deposits than they would if you simply held your fiat with them, because then they’d have to pay you interest.
Tether is in a vulnerable position
This fact suggests that banks would now want to compete for depositors. Decreasing trust in a vulnerable competing stablecoin solution is probably very good news everyone else in the same line of business.
The CENTRE whitepaper mentions the problems we have seen Tether have, albeit without naming any names. It simply states that they created a separate governance structure with independent stablecoin issuers to increase transparency and minimize adverse effects should issues arise (although it seems dubious to have a single, supposedly fungible token issued and backed by different independent institutions).
Tether seems to be too inter-related with Bitfinex to salvage any transparency for now: The executive members of both organizations are the same people, both companies are BVI entities, most information is tied up in non-disclosure agreements and on top of it, due to banking problems it appears that Bitfinex is now the actual issuer/de-issuer of Tether. Which is fine, if the USD reserve is there, but that is an information that is not to be publicly disclosed.
It cannot be said convincingly whether Tether is solvent or not but given the current situation it would be strange if nobody attempted to profit from this vulnerable position that Tether and Bitfinex are in.
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Upcoming and current airdrops February 2019
|Name||Date||How to access||Official URL||Additional Info|
|FanEspo Big Competition (ERC20)||Limited||The eSports platform FanEspo is giving away the total of $1.6 million of tokens in contests. Top winner's prize is over $100K worth. You need to have a FanEspo account, the tokens you get are beta but they will be transferred into real tokens upon launch. Estimated value is 1 USD per token.||details||make acct|
|Athero Airdrop||As available||The IoT-Blockchain system Athero still has the airdrop open.||form||web|
|HubrisOne Airdrop Round + Bounties||Weekly (16 weeks of airdrops, each weekly round starts on Tue)||HubrisOne is a UK financial service that offers personal and business crypto-friendly bank accounts and crypto-fiat cards. The easiest way to get the token is to download their banking app, which gives you 1000 tokens (10 USD) but there is a massive bounty campaign with weekly payouts. The work ranges from social media engagement or Bitcointalk signature to content creation, all must be properly reported. New round starts every Tuesday, but on other days they publish random airdrops on their Twitter.||airdrop, bounty||twitter (more drops)|
|Synchrotron / $STC Airdrop #12||30 weeks of airdrops (Airdrop #12 starts 4 March 2019)||Hybrid PoW/PoS payment cryptocurrency. The team drops 72% of supply (18 MM coins) during 30 weeks of airdrop campaign; there is additional budget for bounties. The bounties are announced on discord server. Each airdrop round runs from Monday 10AM UTC to Friday 10PM UTC. Validation runs weekends and distribution Mondays. You need to download a $STC wallet.||drop rules in this thread||info|
|Bethereum Photo Contest||Starts 22 February 2019||Bethereum, the betting platform on ETH, is running a new Twitter campaign. Reply to Bethereum's monthly tweet with a photo the our gaming platform interface shown in the most interesting place adding #BethereumAnywhere to enter the contest for 25,000 Bether tokens. Two winners are selected every month, at the end of the contest three top photos will be awarded 100,000 Bether each.||rules||web|
|DSTRA / $DST Airdrop #22||Biweekly, drop #22 runs from 25 Feb 2019||DSTRA is PoS Scrypt Masternode coin with limited supply that will be used in DEX environment and marketplaces. There are airdrops every two weeks, users need to register via discord. Regular payouts verified.||discord||rules|
|Agri Novus Bounty||As available||New blockchain-based project for organic supplies providers and customers. The team will pay out bounties for social media work.||more|
|Tratok Airdrop||February - March 2019||Tratok stands for Travel Token, it is a token of an application to make bookings for travel and hospitality. Follow the Tratok Project on their social media platforms and get 1000 TRAT for each approved action. Tokens distribute 20th March 2019.||join|
|Genes Token Airdrop (ERC20)||As available||A tokenized project for genome storage service on the blockchain. You get 5 GENES for commenting on Bitcointalk.||join||web|
|Cargo Coin Bounty||Weekly||Cargo Coin, a token for transport & logistics with an ICO past the soft cap by now, is having a weekly extensive bounty. It spans from simple retweets to YouTube reviews - make your bounty hunter account and pick your poison.||join||info|
|AllForCrypto (WAVES)||Ends March 2019||A WAVES project for eBay-style marketplace on the blockchain. Drops $20 worth of AFCT, plus they have updated their bounty campaign.||join drop||bounty|