The effort to introduce less volatile cryptocurrencies gathered pace this week when Vancouver-based firm Stably launched StableUSD. The new token runs on the Ethereum network, but it is designed to provide transparent one-for-one parity with the US dollar. The company pledged to maintain a true reserve of US dollars to back each StableUSD token in a bid to offer a stable, frictionless digital coin that can cut out the risks of using the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum.
It follows on from Goldman Sachs-backed start-up Circle’s launch of the USD Coin back in May. This follows the same concept, running on the Ethereum blockchain, but backing each token with fiat currency. The market leader in this sector is Honk Kong-based Tether, which swapped $2.7 billion worth of fiat currency into its Tether digital tokens, earning it a 90% market share of the so-called stable coin market. Its innovative approach has inspired the likes of USD Coin and StableUSD to follow suit.
“We have a lot of exciting plans from now until year-end and in about a month, we will officially announce our partnerships with custodians, banks, auditor and exchanges,” said Stably chief executive Kory Hoang. “It’s been amazing how much interest and support we’ve gotten from large business institutions and even governments. I’m very much looking forward to steering the Stably ship through this great sea of opportunities in the upcoming years.”
The advent of stable coins could be important news for sports bettors that like the anonymity, speed and ease of use that crypto offers when making online wagers. The big drawback in betting with Bitcoin is the volatility – the price can plummet by more than 10% in a single day, battering your winning margins. If the likes of Stably and Circle can combine the positives of cryptocurrencies with the stability of fiat currencies, it could be a winner.
“Imagine a US dollar coin that you can make payments with, use on crypto networks, or use in smart contracts to pay dividends, but which you can convert back to fiat currency at any time,” said Circle chief executive Jeremy Allaire. “Crypto represents the next layer of infrastructure for the internet. It will allow money to move at the speed of light around the world for free, but also offer binding, verifiable contracts, enabling anyone to do business together. We’re going to see a lot of businesses using tokens for revenue raising. And eventually central banks will want to do this.”
Many sportsbooks now accept Bitcoin, and others are specifically designed for it, while the likes of Sportsbetting.ag and 1xBet accept Ethereum, but so-called stable coins have not quite taken off in the field of sports wagering yet. But if they continue their recent rise to prominence we should soon see betting sites tailoring their payment and withdrawal methods accordingly.
Bitcoin enjoyed a pretty strong week, rising to a three-week high at the weekend as market capitalization climbed back above the $215 billion mark. Ethereum and altcoins continue to struggle, so Bitcoin’s share of the crypto market is growing. In countries like Venezuela and Turkey, where the local currency is ravaged by hyperinflation, Bitcoin has become an extremely popular investment. But it is also gaining serious traction in stable markets.
Australians are now able to pay their bills using cryptocurrencies. Cointree has teamed up with gobill, allowing people to pay all of their utility and service providers via Bitcoin, Ether, XRP and so on. “Fast forward into the future and what we’re seeing is, like it or not, this will be part of our daily lives,” said Gobill co-founder Shendon Ewans. “Gobill already let people pay bills from their cards or bank accounts, so now they can pay in cryptocurrency too.” The more you see this sort of activity, the more likely the price of Bitcoin is to stabilise, but be warned that for now it remains extremely volatile.