In the ever-evolving landscape of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum have undoubtedly left an indelible mark. Yet, according to an executive at Pantera Capital, the original aspirations held for these digital assets have not been fully realized.
While Bitcoin and Ethereum have achieved tremendous success in their own right, they have fallen short of being the revolutionary currencies many envisioned. However, there is a shining star on the horizon, and it comes in the form of stablecoins.
Based on Ben Strak’s piece ‘Stablecoins set to succeed where BTC, ETH failed: Pantera’, Jeff Lewis, a product manager at Pantera Capital, recently penned a letter outlining his perspective on the future of cryptocurrencies.
In this letter, Lewis contends that stablecoins are poised to fulfill the unmet expectations that Bitcoin and Ethereum have left in their wake.
Fifteen years after the release of the Bitcoin whitepaper, Lewis points out that BTC’s lack of speed and scalability has hindered its potential to replace traditional forms of money.
Meanwhile, Ethereum has emerged as a programmable decentralized system, unlocking the door to an ecosystem brimming with NFTs, Web3 applications, and DeFi, all powered by its native token, ether (ETH). However, Lewis notes that Ethereum’s volatility makes it unsuitable for use as a stable currency.
Stablecoins, on the other hand, are the solution to these limitations. Lewis envisions stablecoins enabling peer-to-peer transfers of value, providing a shield against volatile currencies, and eliminating the need to trust intermediaries.
He draws a compelling comparison to payments giant PayPal, which allows users to inexpensively transfer digital ledger entries worth one dollar to merchants and individuals worldwide. PayPal has even ventured into creating its own stablecoin, PYUSD, in August.
The two leading stablecoins, Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC), do not inherently generate interest. However, Lewis proposes the concept of a trustless, transparent, and yield-bearing “PayPal 2.0” stablecoin, a vision that seems more attainable as market conditions evolve and regulatory clarity emerges.
Franklin Templeton, a fund group managing approximately $1.5 trillion in assets, made waves in 2021 by launching a money market fund utilizing a public blockchain for transparent transaction recording.
JPMorgan and Citi are also making strides in blockchain-based applications, aiming to provide clients with tokenized deposits, cross-border payment solutions, and automated trade finance services round the clock.
In addition to that, Coinbase’s institutional research head, David Duong, and analyst David Han, highlighted the significance of stablecoin liquidity in a recent report, stating that it could be a pivotal intersection point in the next crypto market cycle.
Pantera’s Jeff Lewis emphasizes the appeal of PayPal’s platform over traditional banks due to its user-friendly nature and swiftness. However, he poses a tantalizing question: What if PayPal 2.0 offers market yield and assures verifiable, visible safety?
Such an evolution could potentially herald mass adoption of tokens and unlock the next phase of growth in the crypto ecosystem, shifting the focus from the tokens themselves to the value of the products and services within that ecosystem.
She recognizes their significance in bridging the volatile world of digital assets with the stability of traditional fiat currencies, making them integral for investors, businesses, and individuals seeking to harness the advantages of blockchain technology.
Miriam emphasizes the pivotal role of stablecoins like USDC, particularly in regions with high levels of financial exclusion, where they provide a secure and efficient means of transferring and storing value.
By offering speed, cost-effectiveness, and ease of exchange, stablecoins address the pressing needs of underbanked and unbanked populations, tapping into the important element of financial inclusion.
Moreover, Miriam sees stablecoins as complementary to Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), offering flexibility and accessibility in a decentralized framework, which can significantly influence the traditional financial landscape.
She envisions the future of stablecoins as a catalyst for greater financial empowerment and a transformative force in the world of finance, particularly in regions like the Middle East and North Africa.
In conclusion, while Bitcoin and Ethereum have reshaped the world of finance and technology, the era of stablecoins appears to be on the horizon, promising to address the shortcomings of their predecessors. As regulators continue to provide clarity and market conditions evolve, the future of crypto may be increasingly defined by these innovative digital assets.