Terra Luna Collapse: Why Did It Happen
The Terra Luna collapse wiped billions from the crypto market. Will it recuperate?
Visualise the moment when your entire investment is wiped out suddenly. That's the harsh reality for millions of investors in the Terra Luna cryptocurrency. Its value dropped dramatically from more than $100 per coin to less than $1, losing 99% of its value within a few minutes and sending huge repercussions around the whole crypto world.
So, what's the reason behind Terra's Luna cryptocurrency price collapse, and what impact will it have on the crypto market?
What is Terra Luna?
Terra Labs, a South Korean blockchain development company, designed the project Terra network, which comprises two cryptocurrencies: TerraUSD (UST) and Luna (LUNA).
The Terra network authorises blockchain developers to make custom blockchains and DApps for a broad range of use cases, but typically operates on Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) algorithm. The network focuses on DeFi, NFT projects, and Web 3.0 apps. It's linked to other significant blockchains, including Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and Harmony, and is deemed a powerful player in the DeFi world.
Terra network possesses two native tokens, UST and LUNA, and both have different functions. UST is a stablecoin, implying its value is pegged to $1 and is utilised to risk or shift tokens when markets become jerky. In contrast, LUNA is a more tradable investment whose price fluctuates depending on market circumstances.
Both coins are intrinsically linked, with UST pegged to LUNA using something named "algorithmic pegging". Typically, a stablecoin is funded 1:1 with a tangible asset, like gold or dollars, ensuring investors that the value will stay at $1 (or reasonably close).
Algorithmic pegging operates a smart contract to alter the value of the linked assets automatically. In this case, the smart contract automatically uses LUNA tokens to mint new UST tokens, maintaining the UST price stable and LUNA deflationary (theoretically). So, no matter the market conditions, 1 UST can consistently be redeemed for or coined for exactly 1 LUNA.
Reason Behind Terra Luna Collapse
The sudden Terra Luna collapse took place in early May 2022, when the value of UST unexpectedly began falling from its $1 peg.
The unexpected price fall caused a massive number of LUNA to be minted to stable the UST value, saturating the market with LUNA tokens. This pushed the price down and smashed LUNA's price overnight. Indeed, LUNA moved from a top 10 crypto to descending outside the top 150 overnight. Its circulating market supply tripled from about 350 million to more than 1.4 billion in just two days.
Terra Labs had assembled around $3 billion in Bitcoin to begin building a reserve. It wasn't nearly sufficient to stop the market drop. The company was compelled to vend its resources (against a Bitcoin market that has also lost significant value over the same course). Ultimately, there was no more $1 value of LUNA for every UST, implying both cryptos would drop altogether without any clear path to recovery.
UST is an algorithmic stablecoin. Eventually, its stability is naturally related to market volatility. When support for either related cryptocurrency becomes a problem, there is always a possibility that one or both will collapse and witness a market fall.
Now, with the value of UST still not redeemed to its $1, Terra is trying to raise the supply of LUNA to boost the burn rate and saturate the market with coins, putting more downward pressure on the crypto.
Will Terra Luna recover?
Amid the market crash, Terra Labs CEO Do Kwon presented a Terra Luna recovery strategy to stabilise the present crypto destruction. According to his plan, he will work to stabilise the Layer-1 ecosystem.
The strategy is:
• A new LUNA with a supply of 1 billion will be spread across the community • 40% of this LUNA will be given to existing holders before the depeg • A further 40% will be given to present UST holders • 10% will go to current LUNA holders • the last 10% will go to a community pool for development
This recovery strategy prioritises the Terra Layer-1 as Kwon and the community strive to protect the broader ecosystem. Kwon said Terra Luna needs a growing community to make its blockspace valuable again.
"The only way to do this is to make sure that token holders before the attack commenced, the most loyal community members and builders, stick around to keep providing value," he added.
Right now, it is just a proposal to recover the Terra loss. The crypto market is highly volatile and we are left to wait and watch until the market stabilises.
Author: Priya Kumari
Priya is a passionate content writer and the co-founder of Finendorse. She is an enthusiastic crypto investor and has a huge interest in the upcoming digitisation age.