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Definition: TerraUSD


An algorithmic stablecoin on the Terra blockchain. Created by Terraform Labs in 2018 and co-founded by South Korean crypto entrepreneur Do Kwon. TerraUSD (UST symbol) was designed as a payments system.

Stablecoins are designed to retain their value as close to one dollar as possible. On the TerraUSD blockchain, native UST tokens are matched with native LUNA tokens, and both are adjusted to keep UST in equilibrium. This is the approach of an "algorithmic" stablecoin.

Perhaps LUNAtic Was Clairvoyant
Fans of TerraUSD are known as LUNAtics; however, they may have wondered if that moniker was psychic. In May 2022, the blockchain made headlines when UST plummeted from close to one dollar to less than 10 cents, and LUNA, which once reached over $116, fell to near zero. Very quickly, Do Kwon hard forked the original chain, which became Luna Classic (LUNC symbol). The new LUNA token is not matched up with a stablecoin. See stablecoin.